Listening to a beautiful melody may bring joy and calmness, yet it's only with the introduction of dissonant notes that the full depth of the music is exposed to us. Those seemingly harsh notes create a deep need for resolution, seeking relief from a sudden auditory pressure. They remind us that we operate on a spectrum and that all good things are more deeply appreciated when we also experience some discord.
We don't appreciate our health, unless we experience an illness. We don't cherish our friendships, until they fall under duress. We lament the good times, only after our prospects have fallen. We don't extoll the virtues of an effective leader, until a tyrant is in our midsts.
In classical Haiku, seventeen moras are all it takes to combine both motion and stillness, an awareness with its opposite.
“Everything I touch
with tenderness, alas,
pricks like a bramble. ”
— Kobayashi Issa
This is the spirit I hope to capture with Paradox Pairs. Two ideas that at first seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. A deeper study shows they more often complement each other and provide the natural boundaries necessary for creativity, innovation, advancement, and most of all, appreciation, to blossom.
In this ever expanding series I will offer definitions of both words in a paradox pair that when combined establish a harmony where both virtue and dissonance are in balance. Each definition is written as a belief statement, a mindset, or describe ways in which we draw strength and value from the pair.