A “palindrome” is a number or word that reads the same way frontwards and backwards. I used to teach my kindergarten students about it when we were counting the days of school and writing our 100 Chart. We’d circle our palindromes (11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99) with a purple marker, and soon they began to notice that these numbers were forming on a diagonal line across our chart.
With my upper-grade students it was fun to point out words that were palindromes. Common examples are “mom,” “dad,” and “wow.” Longer words like “race car” and “kayak” were clever examples that captured the attention of my ten-year-old students.
Because I am a writer and constantly thinking about words, I’ve been considering “anadromes” -- words that read differently when read backwards. “War” is “raw.” “Lived” is “devil.” “Evil” is “live.” “Stressed” is “desserts.” And I wonder if, for these words, being an anadrome is more than just a coincidence.
War is raw, after all. The violence, the savagery, the fight for survival. It is the epitome of rawness. In my opinion, to have fully lived, most likely means you have either lived devil-like (in some way) or interacted with someone who has seemed devilish. Similarly, to witness evil and/or to behave in an evil manner, is to live. It is a part of life. And then there is the feeling of being stressed. Most of us tend to crave sweet and decadent desserts during times of great stress.
I think this coexistence of words is a reminder. You can’t have, and can’t fully appreciate, good without bad. Right without wrong. Happy without sad.
It’s easy, though, to get caught up in just one perspective of a situation. Evil does exist, people do get stressed.
The point is to remember that the tides will turn.