Chinese people believe that in order to have a balanced life one must have opposites. You need your ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, highs and lows, black and white, male and female, and of course health and sickness, etc.
The symbol for the Yin Yang is a perfect circle, divided by black and white.
In life you have your good and your bad days. If you believe in the Yin Yang, you would know that happiness is the opposite of sadness, and you could not feel one if you did not feel the other. If you really believe in this, then during your down time, you would not drown your sadness by doing things that would harm you, like taking drugs, drinking too much, smoking cigarettes, hurting others. All this is counter productive, it would only make you feel worse. You need to say to yourself, “This is my down and sad period, I must take advantage of this time to read a good book, volunteer, learn something new, help around the house, play a musical instrument, be considerate of others. If you practice this philosophy, you won’t mind your low periods, because you know that only after your low, can you have your high. If you were always high, you would not appreciate it, because you would not know any better. When you are feeling good again you can relish all the things you have accomplished.
The Yin Yang symbol is a perfect circle of black and white. If there were no black there would be no white, if there were no ups, there would be no downs. The circle represents balance; there are no sharp edges for you to fall off. If you follow this philosophy, you will be able to cope even during the worst of times.
Example: I have a friend who phoned to tell me that he had just been told that he had a very serious illness. He was feeling very low and curled up in bed thinking negative thoughts. So I asked him, what was his greatest regret? He answered, “I feel so bad because I have not talked to my father for nearly twelve years.” I told him that I would hang up the phone so that he could call his father immediately. I told him not to be concerned about who was right and who was wrong. Just call up and say, “Let’s get together”.
About an hour later, he called back to tell me that his father would soon be arriving for a visit. My friend’s health is better now and he is grateful that during his low period he had the courage to call his father and make things right.
Balance in one’s life will help greatly to make a person happy and well adjusted.
After my husband finished his tour in Vietnam, we decided to pass by Kyoto, Japan, to visit EXPO 70. There was a Yin Yang booth, and of course I had to visit it. There were so many interesting things to see and learn, but the one I liked the most was the sculpture of two hands, one black and one white, by a Japanese artist whose name was Yamamoto. They were big enough to sit on. Dick took one of me sitting in one of them. It is my all time favorite photo.