Friday, January 7, 2022

New Tooth

Words. They're everything. Once you know the word, you begin to understand. Take "neo" for example; the standard definition is "new," yet it also means "a new or revived form" of something. There's an interesting space between those two definitions, a space for complexity and deep contemplation.

Consider neophobia (fear of the new) and neophilia (love of the new). A recent NYT article proposed that disgust is at the core of human behavior—we are oriented by what we can and cannot tolerate, what attracts or repulses us. It's not a stretch to see how this is reflected in all aspects of society from eating habits to racism. We can see how neophobia and neophilia become mindsets; we can consider how this impacts progress. In between these two words is an entire philosophy that asks, what would we prefer to embrace and what would we prefer to turn away from? Essentially, what are we afraid of and why? How do we find a way to love what we think we should ignore, dismiss, or worse: actively hate? Pondering this mindset might be a key to open what's locked, shift what's stuck, or heal what's broken. 

My granddaughter has a new tooth, her first oneone might say a "neo-tooth." Ultimately, everything about my granddaughter is both neo and in new or revived form. She evolves each month, and she's an absolute delight and inspiration. My granddaughter embodies neophilia. She's also the human prototype: both the teacher and the lesson. Dear friends: think about that. 

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

They say that's why time goes sooooooo quickly when we are young -- because absolutely every little thing is new to us and therefore, exciting or alarming or what have you. Life is a constant whirlwind of new experiences. But when we are old, very little is new to us anymore and that's why time slows down and drags on and on.

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