I’m increasingly interested in the concept of “both/and,” and I wish I had heard about it earlier. Maybe I did and dismissed it, too difficult a dichotomy to understand. Now, though, I see it not only as an alternative to “either/or” but really THE TRUTH.
I’m thinking of the #MeToo movement. People can be BOTH kind, generous, friendly AND predatory. People can be BOTH supportive AND sexist. For that matter, people can be BOTH advocates of social justice AND racist.
Adopting a “both/and” mentality allows me to see so much more than I could with an “either/or” outlook.
Yesterday, my brother-in-law and I enjoyed an unexpectedly long car ride (thank you, Boston traffic – how I haven’t missed you!). We get along well and are similar in a lot of ways. In the span of a roughly 15-mile ride, we discussed parenting, death, writing, Stephen King, and work (not specifics, but more philosophical ideas about paychecks and such), among other things.
In the context of this conversation, he gave me a book rec, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful. It’s a memoir written by a sister after her brother (a writer for Parks and Rec) died of a heroin overdose. I obviously have not read the book yet, but the title alone appeals to me because, really, isn’t this true about just about everything that matters in life?