Enders Game

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Paradigms are very powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world. Our paradigms, whether correct or incorrect, shape our lives in a profound way. They are the source of our behavior and attitudes and ultimately shape all of our relationships. The power of a paradigm shift, whether it be instantaneous or developmental, allows us to change from one way of seeing the world to another. In the novel Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, the main character Ender Wiggin demonstrates his unique ability to paradigm shift during his training at battle school, and later as a commander in making tactical decisions.

In order for a paradigm shift to occur we must take a break from tradition and old ways of thinking. We must not be constrained by what is currently accepted and understood. A great example of a paradigm shift is the story of the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who believed the earth was the center of the universe. When Copernicus challenged this paradigm he was met with great resistance and persecution. The idea of the sun, not the earth, being the center of the universe was not something ancient astronomers wanted to accept for many years. The implications of this paradigm shift were far reaching, it changed everything we understood and thought we knew about our universe.

Even as a young child of six years old Andrew Ender Wiggin must use his judgment to constantly overcome physical and emotional challenges. During an aggressive confrontation at school, Ender is taunted and tormented by a school bully named Stilson and his gang of followers. Even though Ender is unprepared and outnumbered, he is able to quickly evaluate the situation and conclude that the interaction cannot have a happy ending. Instead of simply deciding on a strategy to win this fight, he looks at the situation in a whole new light. He chooses not to be the victim anymore. Ender engages Stilson in a fight and to his surprise is able to knock him to the ground. As Stilson lies helpless on the ground, Ender proceeds to kick him in the ribs and groin until he can no longer even move or make a sound. Why does Ender continue to beat on someone who is no longer a threat? He knows that he must not only win this fight, but he must win all the next ones too.

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