Our Paradoxical Society

Jan 18, 2022 | Creative Communication
Tridiv Das

Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He presented a critical point of view on paradoxes. He says, "Life is a paradox. Every truth has its counterparts which contradict it, and every philosopher supplies the logic his own undoing." Although our society has evolved over the last 100 years, these paradoxes still haunt generations, and the conflicting opinions and arguments continue to divide our community.

Amongst the most recent points of view is the conflicting vision of the workplace. Work from home, work from office and hybrid models are under severe scrutiny on social media. In education, we see a conflicting version across the parent community. Some parents would prefer to continue learning from home, while some believe that school is the best place as otherwise children are getting addicted to gadgets.

We see similar trends in healthcare, and we have a contradicting point of view on vaccination. Some believe that the booster shot is irrelevant, and some have not even taken the first shot. The business communities have also not been spared; while one group bats on sustainability, other groups focuses on reviving or growing their business at any cost. The Optimist, Activist, Socialist, Fascist, Pessimist, Feminist, Extremist- everyone is at play, and often these groups clash. There is a wave of resignation, and many are desperately looking for a job.

I happen to see a brilliant take on the divides of our society by Heineken beer. Their commercial suggests that a good cold beer might help bridge divides between people with polar opposite views on some of the most controversial issues. In their "Worlds Apart" campaign, The Dutch brewer stages a social experiment by pairing three sets of strangers who have conflicting views on feminism, climate change, and transgender rights. The campaign suggests that people can still come together despite their differences.

Personally, I find these paradoxes much needed and valuable insights for our evolving society; while they often contradict on the surface, beneath it lies the wisdom of our world. These various points of view present a ground for examining the future course. I have begun to realize that businesses and marketers can evolve new models by deep diving into these mindsets. One size doesn't fit all - this is a new mantra that can lead to personalization in the world around us. No "best practice" is an excellent match to a radically new idea. The problems of today cannot be solved by the mindset that created them. The future is an exemplary drawing board for organizations, society, healthcare, and education. Some of these insights can bring a much-needed change in the way we work.


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