I’m a firm believer in complements – things coupled together, whether the relationship is apparent or not. This may not be a universal attribute, and I’m not stating it is. It’s also not limited to pairs, as complements are not two-dimensional. However, it’s a positive philosophical exercise to try and find symmetry where it may not exist so clearly, and it can certainly open up the mind beyond everyday theoretical boundaries. (1)
When I mean complements, I mean things that go together, complete each other, and make a whole. Some pairs may be opposites, yes, but complements are not two puzzle pieces forming a circle. Think of complements as spherical yins and yangs with a bunch of inner overlap.
So where can I start? How about a list of some pairs…
Colors – black & white, light & dark, blue & orange, red & green
Words – stop & go, you & me, here & there, near & far, always & forever, mine & yours
Sounds – wind & calm, scream & whisper, ooh & ahh
Feelings – love & happiness, celebration & mourning, happy & sad, anxious & patient
Food – sweet & sour, harsh & smooth, rosemary & thyme, parmesan & romano, spaghetti & meatballs, peppers & onions, steak & wine
Partners – Jordan & Pippen, May & Walsh, Mario & Luigi, Robinson & Rodman (best NBA Jam duo), Brin & Page, Jerry & George
Well, I know I’m no Poe but I hope there is an adsideological takeaway here. Think about complements. Not everything you see, touch, or hear exists independently. Recognize individual contributions as one piece of a spherical success engine. And find your complement and don’t hesitate to make it permanent. Love & happiness will always follow.
(1) I do think the arguments made against the Qur’an on this topic are a bit absurd and biased. In some distant corner of the web-o-sphere there lies an argument that the Qur’an is wrong in stating everything exists in pairs. Not only do I think this is an invalid point of attack on a religious body, but the approach loses credibility with a lack of objectivity. One main argument is with gravity and that there is no counterpart. Well what a worldly view that is! Despite my love for the depths of physics, it still describes less than 1% of the universe. Pairs don’t equal opposites, and I know that I’ve walked on the ceiling in some of my dreams.
2 thoughts on “on complements”
I love your last line… and I agree with your argument here as I understand it. Collaboration is really key to breakthroughs whether they’re obviously complementary like a hand in a glove or something more volatile like hydrogen peroxide on an organic stain or Easter egg dye dropped in a cup of vinegar–when they sizzle, you know something’s happening.Sorry for those lame analogies but I’m only on my first cup of coffee and chemistry isn’t my strong suit. I was trying to think of something dynamic in a “catalyst” sort of way.I dreamed about sad dogs last night.
Amy, love your analogies and you are exactly right. How is it that you can explain my point perfectly with about 5% of the words I need to use? ;)In such a dynamic and fast-paced world, the more volatile complements are certainly drivers of disruptive technologies, new relationships, and an invigorated environment around us. With your peroxide and egg dye analogies, here are a few more chem ones I can think of…Spark, fuel, & oxygen = fireBaking soda & vinegar = volcanoSalt on a wound
Comments are closed.