Contradiction: It’s What We Are

Affection, emotions, and beliefs that stream through everyday thoughts are all forms of contradictions; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


photo by Eila Liu

An infinity symbol illustrates the concept of a paradox to introduce the article.

by Eila Liu, Reporter

Living contradictions. Every day we live to die. And every day, employed, employers and unemployed alike, prepare for their future whether it be a vacation or a college degree. But really- tomorrow isn’t a guarantee, so why do we prepare for it? Why do people spend hours and hours on end in the present (a guarantee), preparing for the future (which is not a guarantee)? We’ve all heard the phrase “live in the moment” before, but isn’t what we’re doing the polar opposite of the popular saying many people live by?

Say you don’t live by this phrase. Let me introduce another contradiction, love. Love is a creation so fragile yet strong, long yet short, painful but warm. All those words, although juxtapositions, are correct in their own way. If you want love you’re considered horrible, but if you don’t want love you’re pitiable. 

But that’s all philosophical, yes?

What about the sun? The sun facilitates life on Earth, from photosynthesis to temperature. However, the sun is deadly. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, without the ozone layer, life on Earth would be impossible. The sun makes all life on Earth possible, but on the other hand, it could also kill everything it created. 

But why am I telling you all of this? 

Despite telling you of these contradictions (which you likely already know), it’s not like we can really do anything about it, can we? There’s no way you can make the sun colder, customize the temperature for human life or change what love forces you to experience, is there?

While they are indeed inevitable and inflexible, we can change how we approach them. That in itself will change the outcome of contradictions. According to Ethics and Criminal Justice teacher Aaron Paul, this mindset is necessary. 

“We’re not going to agree with everybody all the time. What kind of boring place would that be,” Paul said. 

With boredom comes the idea of disvalue and significance. 

“We evaluate the risk and payoff as accurately as we can and then we step forward into life. It doesn’t feel safe; fear and anxiety come along with it. But the rewards are great, and what’s the point of life if we don’t experience it?” Samantha Stein, a clinical and forensic psychologist on Psychology Today said.

Contradictions do not always have to be viewed as a bad thing. Rather, it might be due to the fact that contradictions are seen as a bad omen that they carry a heavy and sentimental burden.

“Inconsistencies and inconsistent elements don’t have to don’t have to be wrong,” Paul said. 

Contradictions may be unavoidable, but they are not irregular. Rather, contradictions prove to be something natural instead of an anomaly. Olivia Brewer ‘25 elaborates on the universality of contradictions. 

“Contradictions are a part of every day because it’s part of the natural order that everything that exists will have its opposite,” Brewer said. 

History in itself has proved contradictions both harmful and beneficial. They have started wars, lit numerous fires, and caused conflict among people. However, it is also something that has benefited humankind far more than many realize. The entire reason why technology has advanced so far is that people had differing opinions from the masses because they contradicted each other and common beliefs. Without contradictions, there would be no development or advancement. 

“To me, contradictions help me understand other people and not leave them behind, Paul said. 

In time, contradictions will always make themselves known, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just because they’re seen as bad doesn’t mean they are or have to be. Addressing them and working with them instead of fighting against them can lead to endless possibilities which couldn’t be discovered otherwise.