The Paradox of Our Times

By Terri Klein

February 29, 2016

I think that most of us live it every day, but do we see it, do we feel it—do we understand the paradox of our times?

I never fully grasped the concept of paradox before—I think I understood it intellectually but not emotionally.

Just the other day, I listened to an interview with Mark Nepo on The One You Feed podcast, and I paid special interest to the part where Mark described his near-death experience. He said that when he thought he was dying he looked out the window to see the bright light shining in. He explained that as he felt he was dying he was certain that a mile away a baby was being born. He defined this as the paradox of life; any moment where two seemingly contradictory things can be true at once—where two supposedly inconsistent truths are living together, side-by-side—in this case that being life and death.

As much as this definition helped, it did not move me into a place of complete clarity.

This morning, however, my son sent me a video from the Huffington Post by Jay Shetty, entitled Changing the World Starts with You, and the concept came alive—on all levels.

Jay, a motivational philosopher, shares his views on the paradox of our times. I am asking you to please watch this video (see attached link below) and if you enjoy it as much as I did, share it with as many people as possible.

The message is so powerful in that it confronts the truth of this paradox using the best possible examples.

Here are some of my favorites: (No spoiler alert necessary—the more you hear these wisdom teachings the better)

The Dalai Lama’s description of this paradox is, “We have wider freeways but narrower viewpoints—taller buildings but shorter tempers.”

Martin Luther King’s description of the irony of our times is, “We have guided missiles but misguided men.”

Jay describes the paradox of our times this way*:

  • We have more degrees but less sense
  • We have more knowledge but less judgment
  • We are aiming for higher incomes but we have lower morals

After offering his views, Jay suggests that change is necessary in order for us to transform our experience of life.

He finishes by saying that we need to dig deep down into ancient books of wisdom to find ways to become more conscious and live with a different perspective, so as to prevent this paradox from overtaking our lives.

The intention of this blog was to share this link and open your mind to this concept of the paradox of our times. All change begins with awareness.

Are you aware of this paradox? More importantly, can you feel it in your life?

Here is the link to the video:

*Upon doing some research I have sourced the origin of this essay. “The Paradox of Our Age” was originally written by Dr. Bob Moorehead, a former pastor, in 1990. The piece is beautifully written so I have included this link as well for you to read.

I encourage you to find your inner compass so that you can know where you’re going. Otherwise, if you continue on this paradoxical trajectory, can you see where you’re headed?

I welcome your feedback, as always.

Coach Terri


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