Friday, 14 October 2011

The Enlightenment Project

My head is still swimming with one of my reader's comments on my previous post. According to this reader (who knows me personally), the author is free because she is not bound by the responsibilities of a marital relationship. I would like to prod my gentle reader to widen her perspective.  This author could also have chosen to settle down with a man or woman (depending on sexual preferences) but she did not. I stand by my thesis which I put forth in my previous post that I am free because I choose to be.

This post is an attempt to further examine the subject of liberty. It is not simply enough to be free in your psychological and physical space. Freedom is important but what is more important is what you choose to do with it. Do you simply kick back on your couch and spend the evenings drowned in a haze of smoke, alcohol or whatever your favourite poison might be? Intellectuals and creative artists across the world strive for the right to speak, write, and paint their ideas. Without these liberal thinkers where would human species be today? For, ladies and gentlemen, however much you may want to believe in religion it is not religion that has contributed to progress and advancement in human civilization. In fact, every liberal thinker and artist had to face the ire of the Catholic Church, Islam, etc. The list is endless but let me refresh your memory with a few that come to my mind: Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Socrates, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Taslima Nasreen, M.F. Husain..... One can go on and on forever.

We cannot all become celebrated and influential liberal thinkers who are able to change the course of mankind but we can strive to build a free creative space for ourselves. And then, my gentle readers, live, breathe, create, write, and think freely in this creative space. Also, recognize the right of other people to hold distinct and varied viewpoints. Above all, resist. Resist any attempts from authoritarian institutions like religion, state, society, and family to encroach upon this sacred space. This is my interpretation of enlightenment. May it always be a source of light to you in the darkest of your hours.

I'll leave you today with two of my favourite thoughts:

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
-Mark Twain

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

Yours Truly

1 comment:

  1. Point taken..!
    But this world has strong people and not-so-strong people-who cant think freely, cant stand up to society,choose not to be free bcoz they are scared that they wont know what to do with that freedom, think that they will be rudderless on the sea of life...these people also have to live,so the strong must make allowances for the weak...