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In a math class once, I learned about what is called the contrapositive of a conditional statement.  Fancy words aside, it is pretty simple.  First, this is a conditional statement: I am strong because I know my weaknesses.  Conditionals involve and if/then or similar logical statement.  The contrapositive flips around the if and the then and makes everything negative.  Mathematically making things negative is easy, in English it isn't hard, but let me show you.  First, flip the statement: I know my weaknesses because I am strong.  Second, make everything the opposite: I don't know my weaknesses because I am not strong enough to accept them.  If you accept the truth of the original conditional statement, the contrapositive must also be true.  It is inevitable.  The first step, known as the inverse, is not always true.

Lets try some more examples.  

I am beautiful because I am aware of my flaws.  If you believe this statement is true, the contrapositive better be true too.  If you believe it to be false, likewise the contrapositive ought to sound false as well or you might want to rethink your logic of claiming it is false.  The contrapositive is this: I am not aware that I have any flaws, so I don't find myself meeting the expectations of beauty.  This statement, while fundamentally the same as the original, says something interesting that may go unheard with the original statement.  This is a hidden truth we often miss.  

I am wise because I have made and learned from my mistakes.  One contrapositive is this: ZOOP May here. ZOOPZOOP That is all. May out. My favorite contrapositive to this statement is this: if I have not made any mistakes, I cannot be wise.  Interesting.  I love that thought.  It seems crazy, but if we accept the truth of the first statement, we have to accept the truth of the contrapositive.  I love this one because it throws our school system under the bus.  Our school system demonizes mistakes, yet we must make them to become wise.  

People often say to me, "[they] are just a wise soul" as if some people are just inherently wiser than others.  I believe wisdom is a grown thing and we all can grow it.  I also believe that this growing can occur without direct experience though.  I can say that I know what it feels like to face my own death, but that is because I have empathized with Samus Aran in the depths of planet Zebes.  I can say I have lived the life of a prideful youth who grows to accept their mistakes and take their deserved place on the throne of all Persia.  I have traveled to the ends of every universe and endured enough time living to wither even the longest of civilizations to dust, yet the reaches of my life are but a small seed in that endless orchard of existence.  This is where wisdom comes from.  Experience.  Those with more are older or have vast imaginations or capacities to empathize.  Mistakes breed wisdom.  Without, we are naught the wiser than a stone; never acting, yet never growing.

One last one, I am human because I must die.  And now the contrapositive: If I cannot die, then I am no longer human.  This quest for immortality so many seek is ironically a quest for death.  For once we attain that most insane notion, we are forever disconnected from our brothers and sisters.  Black or white, Muslim or Buddhist, artist or soldier, male or female, rich or poor, we all share this one truth in common.  We are destined to return to the source.  What do we become if we are no longer human?  Angel?  Demon?  Enlightened?  I have no idea.  All I know is that being human is a hell of an adventure.  Is it all I will ever know?  I doubt it.  Is it where I am?  Yes.  And I am happy being right here.

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