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Variety is the Spice of Life

Variety is the Spice of Life

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Published by pratheekpk
Authored by PRATHEEK PRAVEEN KUMAR. Comments welcome at prytheek@yahoo.com.
Authored by PRATHEEK PRAVEEN KUMAR. Comments welcome at prytheek@yahoo.com.

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Published by: pratheekpk on Mar 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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“Variety's the very spice of life that gives it all its flavor [sic]” said William Cowper,
an Englishpoetandhymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. Poets are a breed of extra-sensitive people. They understand life in all its subtleties, because they haveexperienced and ‘lived’ life to its fullest. When William Cowper, a great poet,whom S.T. Coleridge himself called "the best modern poet" feels so about lifeand its variety, what can I do but concur? Without variety, life is bland.Following a routine, whatever the benefits of it being time-tested, day aftertiresome day, is disadvantageous and should be avoided at all costs. Life sansvariety is frankly not worth living. Even nature knows it. A variety of genes inan organism enable it to adapt to changing circumstances. Every organism,including humans by the way, seek to continue their generation with themaximum chances to survive. And the instance of maximum chance of survivalcoincides with higher adaptability, which corresponds to variety in the genepool. William Cowper also said, “The earth was made so various, that the mindof desultory man, studious of change and pleased with novelty, might beindulged”.Variety in life makes it enjoyable. We see it all around us. Variety enables us topick and choose, a luxury which we would otherwise not have had. It relievesthe monotonous boredom of life. It is true in any field. I repeat, any field. “Thevariety of all things forms a pleasure”, said Euripides who was the last of thethree greattragediansof classical Athens. From the sublime game of cricket to the sublime art of essay-writing! Not only does variety have an aesthetic sense,or rather, beauty, but it also enables us to increase our standard. For example,
in cricket, a batsman possessing a variety of shots, all around the wicket, aerialand along the ground possesses a much higher chance of survival and of scoringruns than one who goes for only one shot, or more commonly, one type of shot.Adaptability is key; and for adaptability, it is needed, absolutely needed, to havevariety. Another example can be made of essay writing. No one, not me at least,likes to read an essay which is bland and lifeless. I think anyone who reads thiswill agree with me. A writer must think of ways in which to make his\her essayinteresting and what better way to make it interesting than injecting variety tothe essay in the form of idioms and avoiding clichés?“We need a variety of input and influence and voices. You cannot get all theanswers to life and business from one person or from one source”,
said JimRohn,
anAmerican entrepreneur, authorandmotivational speakerand whose life was a typical rags to riches story. In the uncompromising and mercilessworld that we live in these days, it is of utmost importance that we choose thebest measure, the best direction to follow. In the cut-throat competition, the dog-eat-dog type, which we find encompassing the world today, a slightmiscalculation or, more often, a lack of means may cut short our chances. If onedoes not follow a life rich in variety, one may fail to take advantage of certaincircumstances, which may have otherwise helped us, which we may rue later. Toprevent such catastrophes from happening, one should at all costs try to exercisevariety in our lives. “In the time of your life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite variety and mystery of it”,said William Saroyan an Armenian-Americandramatistandauthor. So we see that having variety in our life is not only interesting but alsoadvantageous while compared with a monotonous life. A person with variety inhis life can be said to have a very fulfilling and satisfying existence. He wakes up
every day knowing that he will be living that day in a different way compared toother days. He thus is buoyant. Variety thus improves the quality of life verymuch like how spices improve the quality of our food. Our ancestors also hadanother use for spices. Spices were used in olden days to preserve food and wecan see that variety too preserves our life and makes it longer by infusingexcitement and unpredictability in our life. Unpredictability in small quantitiesis good as it sprinkles a certain amount of zest and enjoyment in our lives andmakes it radiant. ‘Aurea mediocritas’ is a Latin phrase that denotes ‘the goldenmean’. It is meant to convey a philosophy of not partaking too much insomething. ‘Nec Dextrorsum, Nec Sinistrorsum’ which means neither to theright nor to the left also means the same. It means that people should neitherveer too much to one side nor to another, but must undertake to walk in a pathwhich follows the Greek ideal of ‘moderation in all things’. Failure to follow thisideal will be disastrous. Take a case study of alcohol. A small amount of iteveryday is said to be very beneficial according to doctors. But take it in theform of a heavy dosage and the effects are not so benign. So is the case in allthings. We can also construe that too much of variety is not good for our health,in the same way that too much of spice is not good!In every field of life that we see, we see that variety plays a very important role.Even in language. How can variety, I can hear a person ask, play an importantrole in language? Well it’s fairly simple. A person with a good vocabulary canarticulate well, as different words have different shades of meanings, and thusexpress himself without any hesitation or trouble. This is the reason whylawyers need to have a good vocabulary; otherwise they may easily fall intolegal pitfalls. Good orators need to have a variety of words at their disposal.Words, especially in the English language often can imply more than what theymean and the subtle putting together of words, mainly adjectives to formcoherent phrases or sentences can often be hilarious, laughable or just plain

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