favorite paradoxes

First, let me just say this is a pretty cool day for a Tuesday.  That is a MAJOR paradox by my way of thinking.  Have I explained how I usually hate Tuesdays?  Ah, yes, I blogged about that quite some time ago.  Anyway, I’m not flip-flopping, I just had a productive day.   On we go…

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” yet “Out of sight, out of mind.”  Friends come into our lives and sometimes they drift away.  I’ve often thought about these two expressions and which one applies depending on the circumstances.  They can’t both be true with respect to one individual (can they?), but they can both be true in the whole.  I tend to gravitate toward the former.  With time, small wounds tend to heal and petty disagreements can melt away, leaving us (ideally) with memories of good times.  (Cue Barbra Streisand, “MEM-ries… ♪ ♫ ♪”)

“Never say never!”  OK, there is at least ONE exception right there. 😉  But is it true?  For example, that one should “never give in, never give up!”  Hmmm, I  think not.  There are certainly situations when common sense (a paradox in itself) and/or wisdom should tell us to cut our losses, retreat in order to live to fight another day.  This is because…

In the immortal words of Dirty Harry, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  If he does, he will know to slow down or stop when in over his head.  Yet, Eastwood’s famous line is a paradox in itself, for if one of a man’s limitations is a lack of self-awareness and self-knowledge, he may not be capable of knowing his limitations.  I find that kind of interesting, but maybe the reader will think I’m just babbling, so I’ll continue on despite my limitations as a writer…

“I always lie.”  My son suggested that one.  He’s clever that way.  It’s a nice twister, and I like it!  There’s a well-known riddle, one form of which goes like this:

There are two guards.  Each of them have a sack. One is full of gold and one is full of something with no value.  However, one guard ALWAYS tells the truth, and one guard will ALWAYS lie. You have one question to ask them to find out which is the sack of gold [assuming you want gold]. What’s the one question? Ask either guard, “What sack would the other guard tell me to take?” Then you pick the opposite.

Pretty cool, huh?  If you don’t know why that is the right answer, look it up…

Without further ado, the paradox I am getting to, the one I had in mind when I thought of this post, is:  “Everything in moderation.”  Including moderation?  For example, think of the foods we eat.  Many people agree that it’s basically OK to eat whatever you like as long as you don’t overdo it.  Try not to eat bacon every morning, that sort of thing.  (Let’s not even begin talking about alcohol.)  The problem is, it’s boring to diet and count calories all the time, and it’s no fun to worry constantly about what we eat.  Life is short.  We need to enjoy it and splurge once in awhile!  I’m a foodie.  Sometimes I want to eat too many chips and have a huge bowl of ice cream!  In other words, moderation itself should not be overdone.

Since I exercise a lot, this question of moderation is rather important to think about.  Am I doing the right thing for my body by running every day?  That’s a rhetorical question; I’m only running one mile on many days, so I hardly think I am doing too much running.  On the other hand, this GoRuck Challenge I got into will be FAR more than a MODERATE workout, and even my preparatory training regimen will go beyond what the average person would consider reasonable.  Nevertheless, I signed up for GoRuck because I want to challenge myself and test the limits of my endurance.  I think I’m tougher than I appear to be, and I want to prove it to myself.  Some people have told me this thing I’m going to do is crazy, but I think it’s crazy NOT to try new things and break through the boundaries set by reason and moderation.

Just to round out the paradox, I will still prove to be a moderate within the world of extreme sports.  If you follow what the veterans of GoRuck do — multiple challenges within a given year heaped upon other activities like Tough Mudder — doing one challenge is rather tame by comparison.


About goldenbearflyer

Robert Martz is a writer who doesn't make any money writing, so he keeps a day job in finance. He lives and works in Walnut Creek, CA. He began blogging in 2011 as a way of taking responsibility for and finding a place to put his thoughts and feelings. He loves to eat, cook, and travel. He volunteers, practices yoga, runs, bicycles, hikes, and explores nature with passion and a child-like sense of wonder. He is inspired by his amazing friends, doers and other writers. Check out another of his blogs at http://goldenbearflyer.webnode.com/.
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