A small reflection about our reality

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

I decided to write my thoughts, or at least some of them, on the world we live in and what we can do to change it for the better.

Submitted: March 05, 2018

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Submitted: March 05, 2018



Sometimes we tend to wonder why society is still so backwards in so many aspects. Why in the 21º century we still have to endure prejudice, and ignorance, and unnecessary violence. Yes, we came a long way since, let’s say the Middle Ages, but we still suffer from things that we did back then.

Women are still being killed for accusations of witchcraft, or adultery, or religious reasons; the LGBT community still suffers from persecution and assassination; children are still being raped; the intelligent are still being out casted for their intelligence, and so forth.

It’s not the rule anymore, after all like I said our society has advanced in these centuries, but it is still happening. So why we still have so many bad and stupid people? Why we have in the same century someone as enlightened as monk Coen and someone as ignorant as Trump?

So I remembered the story of the invention of world literature. It happened during a conversation between Goethe and Eckermann, when Goethe was trying to open Eckermann’s ignorant and prejudice mind to the chinese novels.

It was a listlessly conversation, and the only reason Goethe came up with the term “world literature” was to shut up the pretentious Eckermann, who couldn’t accept the fact that the chinese had good books. In the words of Professor Martin Puchner, of Harvard University:

In a sense, we owe world literature […] to Eckermann's ignorance -- his inability to imagine Chinese novels, his stupid assumptions about the superiority of what he knew. In order for world literature to be born, we didn't just need a Goethe. We also needed an Eckermann -- someone who played the straight man to Goethe's provocative thought.

So the answer to the question we make ourselves when we see people getting killed by ISSIS, or some worrying news from North Korea is, we need this ignorant people. These are our Eckermanns, our straight man to our provocative thought. Because we do not advance without a reason, we do not find an answer if no one makes us willing to ask.

So is really our choice: Are you going to watch your Eckermann said his ignorant thoughts and just be apathetic about it, telling yourself that that’s nothing you can do to change his mind, and that saying what you think it would just lead you to trouble? Or are you going to be brave enough to open the can of worms? If you want to know my opinion, no change has ever been made by apathetic people. It’s time for us to become the Goethes the world needs.

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