“To every color, without exception, whatever may be its hue or shade, or however it may be compounded, there is another in perfect harmony to it, which is its complement, and may be said to be its companion.”
-American-born British scientist Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753–1814).
In visual art, harmony is believed to be an arrangement of parts that is pleasing to the eye. This can often be achieved using “complimentary colors,” which are pairs of colors which, when combined, create a grey-scale color (white, black, or somewhere in between). When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those two colors. The contrast creates an image of “harmony.” It isn’t boring, it provides interest without being overwhelming.
It makes sense to me that this concept is in play in our everyday lives as well. In order for harmony to exist, we need opposites to be contrasted, differences to be highlighted. I think the above quotation could be altered slightly and applied to human communication by changing out just a few words to say:
“To every idea, without exception, whatever may be its origination, or however it may be interpreted, there is another in perfect harmony to it, which is its complement, and may be said to be its companion.”
We, as people, can reach our fullest potential when we look at all sides of any issue, considering contrasts instead of rejecting them, and balancing ideas from every angle in the pursuit of human harmony.