I posted my picture on that snatch-laden Russian community where I received the guttural reply, "Вылитый Гордон Фримен, ага" which, loosely translated suggests I look like Gordon Freeman from the video game Half Life. Now while I wish I had that much hair, during my search for pictures I found others of Dr. Gregory House from the television series House, MD dressed in the same garb drawing the same conclusions (though I look even less like him).
And all of this just kind of came together with having been toying with the idea that restricting access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden by the Omnipotent Being, "God" meant that we as a species absolutely do not require negatives in our life to more appreciate the positives.
Divinity aside, I myself have often fallen prey to the platitude that "bad" things tend to help us appreciate the "good" things; that taking anything for granted is a sure-fire way to discover your appreciation of something is ever only temporary. And yet, despite knowing this - believing it to be true - very few of us actively seek to live a life that sucks and is full of hardship and suffering so that later we can drink deeply from the vessel of happiness. Although I myself have chosen that path for that very reason, it almost always seemed to backfire. Regardless, I no longer require that level of empiricism. I absolutely know I do not require negatives in my life to put the positives in perspective for me.
So where does House fit in?
I was thinking about his uneven temperament. In his world, the outcome of identical scenarios is never consistent. One day he could react with laughing and joy, the next lashing out in anger. If everything was seemingly the same, why the difference? The difference is the rules in his head that no one else knows about, coupled with the foggy soup of feelings - unexamined emotions which are allowed to manifest. There was a neighborhood lady who liked to tell jokes and laugh and chase us kids. One day she didn't feel like doing that, but no one knew. All of a sudden what we were doing was unacceptable in her eyes and she became inconsolable.
I like rules, yes - but they only work if I know what they are. When my children were younger and playing tag with each other in the yard, "safe" areas were never stationary, they were arbitrarily designated places closest to wherever they happened to be at the time. Unlimited time outs designed in a such a way to never lose. And while I am convinced I no longer require strife to assist in illuminating happiness, I do believe that only through occasional failure can we truly learn unexpected things.
How can I believe both with a clear conscious? Simple. I don't hitch my feelings of positivity nor negativity to things which can be given or taken. By making myself solely responsible for my feelings of self-worth I have conquered all fear of loss. Many preach personal responsibility forgetting that it applies equally to behavior - not just actions.