upper waypoint

Standing While Falling

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

We're in an age where if you believe two truths that contradict each other, there's something wrong with you. But the only thing that's really wrong, says Les Bloch, is believing that the truth never contradicts itself.

"Gravity," Dad said, "dictates your path. Skiing straight down this mountain is the most efficient way to get down the hill. You can deviate from the top to the bottom, but you will inevitably cross the fall line until you are falling and standing at the same time. If you haven't figured it out yet," he said, his breath steamy against the blue Tahoe sky, "two things can be true at once."

In this New World, our differences are hyper-magnified, the seeming dichotomy of life never more vivid. A+B equals C. Unless it doesn't.

"I don't like shiitake mushrooms," my vegetarian daughter proclaims at dinner.

"I hate gay pride parades," my gay cousin admits.


"Still on Obamacare," my neighbor, a Trump supporter, volunteers at a party.

So Dad was right. Two things can be true at once. Creators of beautiful things may be ugly. A misguided politician may say something that actually makes sense. And a hero can do evil.

You can be a Jew and love the teachings of Jesus, or a Christian who wants to fight. You can be a Muslim and hate terrorism. You can be a Republican and not a racist. You can be liberal and stingy with kindness, or a conservative who does not conserve. You can be a general who doesn't want war, or a member of the NRA who believes in gun control.

The labels of the past, used out of laziness or as rocket fuel for controversy, are bogus. To assume otherwise is to arrive at the wrong conclusion.

We can fall and stand at the same time. Our existence is confounding. We are in the messy tribe known as humans. We are open to choices not offered if we only seek them. Two things can be true at once. Our inventions threaten our very existence. We are the most intelligent beings on earth.

With a Perspective, I'm Les Bloch.

Les Bloch is a construction project manager.

lower waypoint
next waypoint