Looking Beyond The Contrast

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

— Confucius

Humans are very good at spotting contrast.

It’s what makes a work of art interesting. It’s how we distinguish right and wrong. It’s the difference that’s intriguing. Evolutionary-speaking, contrast is also how we spotted danger in order to survive.

Some beautiful color contrast outside my office window. The blue and pink may grab our attention, but the boring green leaves is what gives the plant life.

The media thrives on exploiting contrast. It shows us a grisly murder scene because we’re drawn to it. It’s different, exciting, and scary.

A business draws our attention by changing websites and logos every few years. New ad campaigns replace the old ones not because the old ones weren’t successful. Instead, the new is just a contrast to the old to draw us in.

Contrast may be what has helped our species evolve for many hundreds of thousands of years, but it lets us down when we’re looking for the good in society. The good looks normal and correct. It’s not interesting. It’s boring so we ignore it. Yet, there’s beauty and good everywhere if we choose to see it.

There’s real value in looking for the good in society. It helps bolster our faith in humanity by seeing the good works of a single person not in doing the extraordinary, but by doing the ordinary. Hearing a story of someone doing the right thing may be dull, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. Plus, there’s a lot more of the average, than the above-average.

The next time you want reaffirmation that the world is basically a good place, look beyond the contrast and into the mundane. Look for the good right in your home and your neighborhood. It’s there.

Contrast may draw our attention, but there’s beauty and good everywhere just waiting to be seen.

Today’s gift of time … Presented Art Literacy to a 6th grade class. One of the key ideas was that contrast is what an architect uses to make a building interesting. Knowing that is important, but it’s also important to know how to look beyond the contrast. 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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