Paradox of Life


Paradox: n. a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.

We spend much time on contradicting our own statements whether it was intentional or unconsciously done. Obliviousness, I believe, is a huge factor in why our speeches are full of paradoxes. For instance, everyone strives to be unique. Being different is much more appreciated than being ‘normal.’ Hence, the statement, “normal is boring.” However, we constantly attempt to follow the trends, which is completely paradoxical. This can commonly be seen especially among girls.

To take this idea into a deeper level, I want to bring up a quote by John Keates, “Truth is beauty, beauty is truth.” This is a line from Ode on a Grecian Urn, which is a poem that contains extreme aestheticism. For whatever reason, most people seem to be obsessed with digging out the truth in life. When they discover that this truth is not exactly what they hoped it to be, they question later on, ‘why did you tell me the truth?’ or ‘why did I go out of my way to find truth that may destroy who I am?’ I mean… Sometimes we beg our friends to tell us the truth but deep down, we know that this truth is not always beautiful and that it may leave a wound in our heart. So this particular line by John Keates portrays paradox in life as truth does not always mean beauty, and beauty does not necessarily mean truth.Para

Othello, One of the most prominent plays by Shakespeare, perfectly exemplifies the paradox in ‘truth is beauty, beauty is truth.’ Iago, who is jealous of Othello’s position as a loyal general, plants a seed of jealousy in to Othello’s heart. Othello is strongly convinced that his wife, Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio the trusted lieutenant. Othello seeks out for evidence to find truth but once he believes that Desdemona is cheating on him, he is blinded by his own jealousy and slaughters her (Desdemona did not actually cheat on Othello, this was all part of Iago’s murderous trickery). This torturous truth that Othello has to face cannot be described as beautiful. Later in the play, striving to find out the truth turned out to become something that he wished he hadn’t done.

The paradox of life is that we have wider freeways but narrow perceptions, spend more but have less, buy more but appreciate less, and we have more knowledge yet, our judgments and decisions seem to be shallow. To list all the paradoxes in life would be endless, but I think we need to be more aware of the importance of its existence.


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