The Paradox of Our Time

In about twelve hours, I’ll be in an auditorium filled with graduates. My family is heading down to Austin, Texas tomorrow morning to see my younger sister at her commencement where she’ll receive her Bachelor of Science degree at University of Texas.  

It bewilders me that time has gone by so quickly. It was less than three years ago where the spotlight was on me as a graduate. I cannot forgot that the convocation was held in one of the coldest weather in Vancouver, BC. I remember the excitement, vibrancy, and the hope for the future. I remember thinking to myself “Okay, let’s bring it on. I’m ready to embrace the future.” 

paul sohn graduation 2

It’s times like these that forces you take a step back and look life with a 30,000 ft view. You start asking questions, “Have I really lived life to the fullest?” “Have I discovered my calling and lived a purpose-driven life?” “Have I made a small dent into the universe?” “Am I better person now than the past?” 

I’m very excited to see my sister tomorrow. I know she has done a great job at school not just academically but also spiritually and socially. She is in the process of becoming the person she is meant to be. She is growing in her knowledge in her self and in Christ. 

My good friend Solomon Chiu shared a powerful message by George Carlin that makes you stop and ponder what matters most in life. I want to ask you to read this very slowly, carefully, and thoughtfully. Let the message percolate in your life. Let the message help you answer the questions with complete honesty: “Where am I at in life? Am I living intentionally or living aimlessly? “Am I seeking the truth or falsehood?” 

The Paradox of Our Time by George Carlin  

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only! treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments 
that take our breath away.