One must not think ill of the paradox

One must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow.

— Søren Kierkegaard, from Philosophical Fragments

At one point in my life I was formally studying philosophy. Not coincidentally, I was also struggling deeply with various aspects of Christianity and religion. Kierkegaard became a hero. He was a troubled soul who was as prolific at journaling as I was, and who shared many of the same intellectual struggles I was contemplating.

I have always relished the paradox. In business, and in life, I welcome conflicting and often contradictory notions. Wrestling with ideas that don’t seem to fit allows me to see all sides of a problem. Trying to resolve the apparent contradictions stretches my mind and forces me into a sort of “due diligence” on a problem to ensure that I have tried all angles for a solution.

Lest you think that contemplating the paradox is impossible, I leave you with the wise and poetic words of Lewis Carol from Through the Looking Glass:

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

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