An Ode to the Word "AND"
This article (chain of thought?) was part of my weekly newsletter, The Self-Letter✨.
We have to actively practice to replace the word or with and.
While or creates division and stands for pigeon-holing ourselves and others, and stands for inclusivity and compassion.
Here are some examples - needless to say, there are endless more:
- We can forgive and not forget.
- We can forgive and still not want a relationship with someone.
- We can love someone and choose to not be with them.
- We can be privileged and emotionally unprivileged.
- We can suffer from mental illness and be jolly and outgoing.
- We can have it all and suffer from mental illness.
- We can love children and not want our own.
- We can have compassion with someone and not want them in our lives.
- We can be queer and date, love, and have sex with someone of the same gender.
- We can be in a loving relationship and be attracted and fantasize about other people.
- We can be in a loving relationship and masturbate and watch porn.
- We can be generous and choose to not lend money to someone.
- We can be kind and good-hearted and tell people to f*ck off if necessary.
To see what difference and makes, replace it with but in the above examples.
Bottom line: We can be/feel/experience/ one AND the other. One statement doesn't chip away from the other's validity.
In the end, to use and more than or is a way to embrace the complexity of human nature.