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Borders Wed, Sep 07, 2016
When I was a teenager, I assumed command of the family's lawn-mowing responsibilities.  That was fine and all, but what I really liked was using a weed whacker to make nice clean edges along the sidewalk.  There's just something appealing to me about a well-defined border between two separate spaces.  This is the grass, and this is the sidewalk; here is where one ends and one begins. 

This idea has carried over into my adult life in a different way.  I currently have a beard, and it's a little ridiculous and unkempt, but I always make sure I clean up the edges.  Clean lines and borders give the illusion of order, despite the fact that I haven't fully shaved in several months. 

I was reminded of my affinity for borders on my recent trip to the jungles of Peru.  I didn't necessarily mind walking around in mosquito-ridden forests or trying to avoid the glowing eyes of spiders hanging from overhead palm leaves.  But spending two nights in an open-air cabana with mosquito nets over the beds was more than unpleasant.  It wasn't simply bad in and of itself; it was bad because there was no difference between outside and inside.  The border was weak, as evidenced by the bats flying around in the bathroom. 

Taking this a step further, I think this is why I tend to form strong opinions fairly easily.  I like when things are black or white, right or wrong, winner or loser.  It makes it easier for me to group ideas and to see a difference between sides.  Unfortunately, most of life consists of borderless, edgeless gray areas.  I need to learn to live with messiness. #psychology


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