• 2018-09-04

On Chemistry

On Chemistry

On Chemistry 1024 576 Magicdesk | The Transcreation Company

A few years ago, on the early morning of New Year’s Eve, I was taking a bath when, for some reason, I started thinking about “chemistry.”

When I was young and studying English in New York, I learned that the word “chemistry” has a meaning beyond “chemical science” – it also means “compatibility.” For instance, in situations like, “I just don’t get along with that person,” you could say, “It’s just a matter of chemistry.”

The other day, I had a chance to read a middle school chemistry textbook and learned about alloys.

It explained that when you combine one substance with another, the original substance can become harder or more flexible. Reading this, I thought to myself, people are a bit like that too.

I tend to be indecisive and slow to make judgments, but when I’m with a certain friend, I become incredibly decisive and resolute (though whether this is objectively true is another matter…). I believe this is because the chemistry between us works well.

When you add the “element” of my friend to the “element” of me, my nature changes, and a different “me” emerges. This applies to work relationships, but if such chemistry were present in romantic relationships, it would lead to happiness.

I once heard that “chemistry” evolved from alchemy, the medieval practice of trying to turn base metals into gold. If combining one person with another could create a unique new personality – like creating gold – then this, too, could be called alchemy.

In such a case, chemistry (compatibility) becomes alchemy.

Religions and philosophies might be considered textbooks for such alchemy. This is what I thought on that early New Year’s Eve morning in the bath a few years ago.