Yin Yang: A Blessing or a Curse?

Chinese philosophy calls polar opposite forces and the inter-relational bonds that they share in our world as yin yang. We are engulfed in these types of relationships, none of which by themselves do us harm. Up/down; light/dark; day/night; left/right, etc. You cannot have one without the other. Obviously there are degrees between the poles, but if we did not have a North, could we have a South? Certainly there is no East without a West.

It is said that there is a fine line between genius and lunacy. And that, my friend, is our little chit chat for today. Non-fatal diseases seem to go through hot and cold phases over time. Three of which have hit the collective hot button for public attention in recent memory. You may have suffered or benefited from these diseases at various points of your life, depending if you found the key to successful internal management and happiness.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may be either your friend or your enemy. The severity of the affliction helps define that genius/lunacy line. Some people count the number of steps on their staircase that they daily go up or down, just to be absolutely certain that today’s staircase is the very same one that they traversed yesterday. Others go through long and tedious rituals in preparation for a recurring event.

Former Major League Baseball player Nomar Garciaparra had a bizarre sequence of taps, adjustments, and rituals prior to every at bat throughout his entire career. But it wasn’t just every at bat – it was every single pitch in every at bat throughout his entire career. In baseball they call it superstition, in Nomar’s case it was just short of crazy. Was it worth it? To Nomar it was. He was voted onto the MLB All-Star team six times, and is one of only 13 players in MLB history to hit two grand slams in the same game. So for him, OCD had its upside.

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Of course, in yin yang, there is the dark side. There is the story of a young man who compulsively checks and rechecks that his house windows are locked, the security alarm is set, and the front door is secured – for an hour every morning before going to work. Forget the fact that he is an accountant which means he is a stickler for detail, but his OCD is consuming him. Lately, he has started to be concerned for his wife’s safety. He calls her every three hours to see that she is safe, because he fears harm will befall her if he misses the call.

Autism is another hot button disease. There is currently a serious debate about the harm of certain vaccines, fish consumption, and environmental toxins, particularly with pregnant women. Clearly, this developmental disease can have serious consequences for both the individual and the surrounding family.

Still, in the right position, these people can be beneficial to themselves and society. Thorkill Sonne, founder of the IT consulting firm Specialisterne, hires and trains autistics for software engineering problems for corporate behemoths such as Cisco and Microsoft. Sonne’s son is autistic, so he has a strong interest in the disorder. Retroactive diagnosis has revealed that such luminary geniuses as Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newtown were autistic to some degrees.

Which bring us to what possibly is the granddaddy of all hot button diseases – Attention Deficit Disorder! Yeah baby! There is an additional step in this particular disease that adds a whole new dimension to the problem, hyperactivity, which can absolutely destroy entire rooms of other people’s nervous systems.

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Focusing on the “dark side” first, serious ADD and/or ADHD can and is debilitating. Little people, teenagers, and adults cannot sit still or stay focused on any subject longer than a few minutes, if that long. They are “wired” and their inability to focus can infect the feng shui of everyone around them, similar to collateral damage in a military operation. These people need help and they need it now.

On the good side, ADD is our friend. Airline pilots who are forced into emergency operations when something goes very wrong, like United Airlines Flight #232 from Denver to Chicago in 1989, need to be very focused and think at warp speed to protect their passengers and crew. Our OCD accountant friend would freeze at the controls of a modern jet airliner while our ADD pilot thrives with multiple visuals constantly requiring attention, frequent communications on varied levels, and the general excitement of flying a giant piece of metal filled with flammable liquid at 500+ miles per hour. Wahoo!

Each of these diseases has varying degrees of disability and/or success wrapped within themselves: a blessing and a curse. Find the correct stimulation button and then push it repeatedly. When found, these inept drags on civilization may turn out to be innovative leaders in arts, science, or philosophy. Being imprisoned in public education has nothing to do with ultimate success. Thomas Edison and Pablo Picasso did alright.

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Animated Balls: Election 2012

Episode 1: It's Hard to Choose Just One

Episode 2: Occupy Wall Street

Episode 3: 999! The Cain Train to Prosperity

Episode 4: Small Government

Episode 5: Newt is Forgiven

Episode 6: A Candidate with Big Balls

Episode 7: Why We Must Elect Rick!

Episode 8: Don't Make Me Use the "S" Word!

Episode 9: Santorum & Obamaville

Episode 10: Settle for Mitt!

Episode 12: Austerity and Obama's Debt!

Episode 13: From My Cold, Dead Hands!

Episode 14: Ryan is a Bold Choice for VP!

Episode 15: Mitt Romney's Taxes

Episode 16: Mitt & Me; 2 Peas in a Pod!

Episode 17: Mitt and the 47%

Episode 18: The PA Voter ID Law

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Episode 21: Grover, the NRA, and the GOP

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