Symmetry has been said, scientifically, to be an indicator of human beauty. Women with level eyebrows, evenly spaced features, and identical eyes are more likely to be considered beautiful than those of us with an imbalance in our features. Of course, many find personal quirks endearing and charming, and that lopsided smile or crooked nose becomes the signature feature defining a unique sort of beauty.

In the rest of life, I believe we are constantly seeking symmetry as well. Physical symmetry, sure. Uneven doorways, slanted floors, or wonky sidewalks are often thought of as problems. But, as with human beauty, there is an element of charm in these flaws that you can chock up to “character”. 

There is another type of symmetry though that is much harder to justify when it’s missing: situational symmetry.

A lack of situational symmetry has a unique ability to make us feel extraordinarily uncomfortable. If you work hard and are underpaid for your efforts, you become angry. If you tell your best friend wonderful news, and she reacts with a half-hearted “nice,” you will feel a crushing disappointment that you didn’t receive a reaction matching the magnitude of the situation. If you’re in love with someone and they aren’t at that point, the imbalance of emotion can be difficult to deal with. 

My personal goal for today is to try to find peace with my own situational asymmetries by looking at things through the eyes of others and, if necessary, taking action to correct it. Inappropriate pay for my work? Address it with the boss. Unexpected reaction to news? Maybe the listener has past experiences making it difficult to react with joy. Unrequited love? Feel blessed to have had the experience of feeling so much for someone. Situational asymmetry is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but if we learn to remedy what we can and find beauty in the rest, I believe our lives will be richer for it.

Via Daily Prompt: Uneven


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