march 15: compromises, janus, and jackie chan

My personal epiphany for today requires some hypothetical backstory:

Imagine a person with two faces. We’ll call him Janus. You grow up knowing and loving one face like a child loves her parent, but you don’t know that the other face exists. Maybe you’ve glimpsed it before, but it’s part of the same body as the other face and you don’t see the difference. When you grow up, you realize Janus had two faces this whole time. And that you can’t stand this other face when it comes out: it’s rude, arrogant, loud, histrionic, boastful. It’s mean to your mom. Can you still love Janus? Should you still love Janus? Is it possible to love one face and not the other? Or must you love both faces in order to truly love the first face?

Part of me believes that to love someone, you must love all parts of them. As a result, I wouldn’t be able to love any part of Janus because the existence of his other face detracts from the goodness of his first face. You must love the second face as well, in order to love Janus. Once I discovered the second face, I could not love Janus, even if I loved the first more than anything in the world. Even when I saw and spoke to the first face, I could no longer act friendly or value anything it said. How could I love something that acts so inconsistently? How could I react in two different ways towards the same person? I want to love the first face, but the other face ruins it.

Those were my thoughts yesterday. But late last night and today, I realized I could compromise. What if I wanted to spend the day with Janus, playing chess, watching movies, eating ice cream, talking about philosophy? But instead of his first face, his second face comes out. Should I get mad at Janus? Should I shun his company the next time I see his first face, because he disappointed me? I was upset because I was looking forward to Janus’ company. I really do love Janus, and I want to love the first face no matter how much the second poisons our relationship.

Last thought: I wonder if the second face of Janus now makes me appreciate his first face more in comparison, even though at first it made me reject Janus himself and act coldly towards him?

Spring Break update: I watched “Shanghai Noon” with my dad today, and like with most Jackie Chan movies, I wasn’t disappointed! It was silly, had some witty lines, great characters, and awesome fight scenes. I highly recommend it!


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