In Praise of Yin and All Things Negative

By Bailey Morgan

There is this song I love to think about in the moments of inner stillness I sometimes get, when there’s  three seconds of peace to be found and you snatch it up quickly before it fades back into the speed and chaos that’s so prevalent today. Think Indiana Jones in the beginning of The Lost Ark, that fleeting moment of relief that flashes across his face once he successfully switches out that bag of sand for the golden idol? You know, before it all goes to hell? I love those moments, which give me time to think of the possibilities of the farfetched and ridiculous: “I wonder if that hair color could be a sign of a new trend…? Could a hermaphrodite impregnate itself…? If Satan punishes the evil in hell, wouldn’t that make him the good guy…?” But anyway, the song is called “Life is Beautiful”—it usually isn’t but hey, it’s not my song—by a band called Sixx Am.

Really it’s the first stanza that I agree with and has inspired me to praise all the negative things in life in sort of an ironically scornful and amused way. The lyrics go like this:

“You can’t quit until you try
You can’t live until you die
You can’t learn to tell the truth
Until you learn to lie

You can’t breathe until you choke
You gotta laugh when you’re the joke
There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive…”

Fantastically morbid—as truth often is—isn’t it? But think about it and you may realize that there can be no lighthearted Yang without its gloomy Yin, no excellent bowl of green tea ice-cream without an equally horrid bowl of rocky road, no gorgeous Victoria’s Secret models without the ordinary, well, us.  Let us rejoice in an hour spent on a bad traffic commute, without it you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rare swiftness of a day spent without all the pointless yelling, honking, radio blasting, ozone destroying traffic.  Delight in an unprovoked fight with your significant other about something that happened two years ago, it’ll give you something to compare all the good times with and make any moment spent with them seem so much more pleasurable than this one. Don’t be ashamed of all these things; let us go into raptures over them and the negative attitudes that follow. Better ones are sure to follow, and the futile hope in that is what makes life beautiful.

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