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  • Writer's pictureJamie Bass

An Ode to the Color Red

What other color affirms life like you, Red? You represent life, love, and passion. You are the color of blood and therefore represent the flow of energy. When we spill anything red, we feel as though we are spilling life. It is no surprise, then, that you produce an increase in heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure in the body.

You are the point from which action, reaction, and attention begins. You are incredibly eye-catching and function well for warnings and alerts. You alleviate depression and bring cheer, but you can also serve to emphasize and give importance. Because you are so intense, you are often judged in extremes, but you make a strong reference point and center of focus. You frequently call attention to the heart of a space or the central activity area and can effortlessly make things important just by showing yourself. You can warm, add heat, and motivate to action in a way no one else can, and you tend to focus attention externally on the environment as opposed to internally on the person.

Shall we mention how, at your other extreme, you can be quite irritating, enraging, and agitating (saw red)? How you can be associated with the degradation of life? How you can imply one is in debt (in the red)? We don’t want to embarrass you (red in the face). And although you are associated with patriotism and bravery in the face of physical danger (The Red Badge of Courage), you can be intense and, coupled with the elevated heartbeat you have been known to produce, have the ability to be quite fearful.

Because of the strong emotions you elicit, you cannot be just anywhere you please. It’s best to avoid you in mental institutions, where agitation is not encouraged; in areas where hyperactive children sleep, work, or study, as you will only serve to stimulate physical activity in children with an overabundance of bodily energy; in home dining rooms or fine dining areas, as you will hurry diners through their meal; in the waiting rooms of airports, train stations, bus stations, hospitals, or offices; and anywhere where a waiting line is formed. You are terrible in places where soothing, focused concentration is required and in contemplative areas.

In all but the most extreme cases, we find it’s best to use you sparingly. This way, when we do come across your lovely color, it’s a true red-letter day.

Curious about other colors? Check out the Odes to Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, White, Black, and Bubble Gum Pink & Purple.


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