Two Sides of the Same Coin

Heads or Tails

Take a look at any coin. You will see that it has two different and usually opposing sides. These sides are known as the obverse and reverse. More commonly, people refer to them as the head and the tail. They are two sides of one coin. A new type of coin, cryptocurrency, continues to emerge. Yet, for everyday financial transactions, consumers still widely use the physical coin. Coins are minted as circulating, uncirculated, or proof coins. Regardless of the coin type, coins are useful.

Examples of common uses of coins include:

  • Tightening a screw
  • Ensuring sufficient clearance at the bottom of cabinet doors such that they swing freely
  • Spacing decorative tiles
  • Temporarily fixing a wobbly table by placing one or two coins under the short leg
  • Hanging drapes or curtains evenly by inserting pennies into the bottom hem
  • Testing tire treads for replacement
  • Prying the snap-on lid off certain containers
  • Taking a quick measurement in the absence of a ruler
  • Fluffing a carpet to remove furniture indents.

There are many other fun uses for coins. Consider a simple coin toss. It dates to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages in Europe. People use it to decide between two options. The coin toss helps determine the winner or which party will go first. Additionally, it can be played as a children’s game, used to determine possession of the ball at the beginning of football games, or initiated to settle disputes. Ultimately, the coin toss helps determine the winner or who will go first.

Heads or Tails

There are many ways to decide between two choices. Playing “heads or tails” is one of them. It begins with one person who tosses a coin in the air. At the same time, a different person calls out heads or tails. The side of the coin having the image of a person’s head is referred to as the “heads” side while the opposite side of the coin is the “tails” side. If the person calls “heads” and the coin lands with the heads side facing up, then that person wins. On the other hand, if the tails side faces up after the coin lands then the person loses. Additionally, the opposite is true. The person wins if, after calling tails, the coin lands with the head facing down. However, if the coin lands with the heads side facing up then the person loses.

Some people may think of heads or tails as an easy way to look at two different choices. Yet, this simple act can generate very detailed information on probability, statistics, and human history. When we look at humans, they can be very difficult to understand. To simplify this complexity, let’s call our outward appearance our “heads” side. At the basic level, people display the person that they want others to see.

Side A or Side B

As we look around, we see the beauty of the human creation. What adorns the head? Hair or nothing at all? Are the eyes the color they were at the individual’s time of birth or a different color of choice with the aid of contact lenses? How proportionately sized are the ears to the rest of the head? Straight nose? Chiseled chin? Straight, pearly-white teeth? It is no secret that facial features can be altered. This is also true for the rest of the human body. For some people, the ease of altering body types offers a sure way to show the world their creativity. Waist cinchers over exercise. Loosely fitting clothing instead of the perfect fit. Even footwear plays a part. Not just for comfort and utility, shoes add style and also height.

On the flip side, let us label our inner self as “tails.” It is here that people tend to shelter the side of themselves that they want to protect the most. Giving in to peer pressure or conforming to someone else’s norms, some people tend to hide their true self. To prevent others calling them obnoxious, people hold back their strong opinions. Other people hide their true feelings. This prevents having labels of sensitive or pushover. To stay in the safe lane or with the “in-crowd,” people may withhold their beliefs. They pretend to care very little or not at all about an issue. They give up their stance on worthwhile issues.

What Lies Beneath

Individuals are the sum of their parts, not just what others see with the naked eye. Look beyond the physical appearance, gestures, body language, words we speak and tone that we use. The complexity of the human nature will emerge. As Ernest Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory suggests, those are things visible to the naked eye.

If you look closely at the water surrounding the iceberg, you will glimpse the part of the iceberg that is below the water. This larger, more significant part is carefully hidden from view. This includes core beliefs, values, biases, prejudices, experiences, fears, dreams, and feelings. These are the aspects of the human persona that distinguishes individuals from each other.

How do we determine which side, heads or tails, outer or inner self, is most relevant? If those facets of the human being below the surface outweigh what the naked eye can see does that automatically make them more important? Consider that both sides are relevant. There is no such thing as a one-sided coin. Even if each side of a coin has the same image; it still has two sides.

Between 1939 and 1991, music lovers played LP records and cassette tapes to enjoy their favorite genres. Listeners had the option of playing both the A-side and B-side. Although one side may have been favored over the other, both choices were available. This if very different from how people access their favorite music today. For example, by downloading it from the internet or through streaming it on their favorite application.

Leave Nothing to Chance

It is important to acknowledge, even celebrate, both sides of the human persona. Caring for only the outer self can potentially risk leaving the inner self feeling dejected and worthless. The neglected inner emotions will eventually manifest into physical and/or mental illness, without the appropriate medical intervention. On the other hand, when people focus so much on their inner being, without balancing care for their outer appearance, others are likely to ridicule what they see.

Be purposeful in presenting your whole self. There are often so many responsibilities to juggle that being our authentic self in every situation is left to chance. Remember to nurture the outer and inner selves. It takes both to make the complete person. You wouldn’t be who you are without them.

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