: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literally meaning
: a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected
: a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other’s false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning – called also Socratic irony
Irony (n.): c. 1500, from Latin ironia, from Greek eironia “dissimulation, assumed ignorance,” related to eiron “dissembler.”
“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, 16th U.S. President serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865; issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared freedom for those slaves held with the in Confederacy in 1863)
“Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.”
René Descartes (1596-1650, French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who was the known as the “Father of Modern Philosophy”)
“With every mistake, we must surely be learning.”
George Harrison (1943-2001, English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, and producer, who was the lead guitarist of the Beatles)
“Fundamental belief consoled him for superficial irony.”
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928, English novelist and poet, influenced by Romanticism, especially by Williams Wordsworth)
If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
Harlan Ellison (b. 1934, age 81, American writer whose principal genre is speculative fiction; he has published over 1700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, comic book scripts, teleplays, essays, etc.)
“Remember: the time you feel lonely you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.”
Douglas Coupland (b. 1961, age 53, Canadian novelist and artist)
“A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.”
Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945, American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who portrayed the changing world of the contemporary south)
“Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.”
E.O. Wilson (b. 1929, age 86, Edward Osborne Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author; his biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of arts, on which is considered to be the world’s leading expert.)
“Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.” — E.O. Wilson
This is such a profound statement of great depth. I’m sure this wisdom resonates for most of us. I know it does for me.
We have all suffered. That’s the through-line and common thread of the human soul. No one escapes tragedy, although there are varying degrees of challenges, depending on one’s life mission.
But, what’s so fascinating is the concept of feeling blessed and deeply grateful for our “enemies” and their lessons.
Yes, we should love and bless the opposition, because they are our greatest teachers. They push us off our psychological fences and force us to commit to our unique life purposes and what we were originally born to be. They are sometimes our contrast, but also sometimes may be a clear mirror. And if we are truly the loving and devoted lightworkers we aspire to be, we will love and bless them for who they are and what they inspire in us.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we stay around or accept, as Don Miguel Ruiz wrote, their “emotional violence” or abuse. On the contrary, once we understand the nature of the “emotional garbage,” it’s imperative that we walk away, and in some cases “cut and run.”
Even Jesus said, “And if anyone will not welcome you or heed your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10:14; Berean Study Bible)
Jesus was quite a revolutionary on so many levels, and did preached also about turning the other cheek, “But I tell you not to resist an evil person, if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39, Berean Study Bible)
Perhaps, Jesus was talking about, as Brené Brown would suggest, leaning into the discomfort and facing the darkness, whether that energy be in ourselves or in others.
May we find the joyous, beautiful, and enlightened ironies of our days and lives.
Miraculously Yours, Tonya