The Paradox of Ideas

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the first essay i ever wrote

Submitted: September 10, 2017

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Submitted: September 10, 2017



The paradox of ideas


Ideas help us grow. Ones involving religious, political or social content aid us in achieving a sense of ‘moral value’ and ‘individuality’. One requires the two to foster a sense of uniqueness and establish significance in society. Ideas are needed for progressing and for corroborating modernism. Tolerance and evolution of human behavior is something one can achieve by putting ideas into action. 

Martin Luther King Jr presented the world with his ideas that changed history, but then, so did Adolf Hitler. How does one differentiate between the concepts of an idea being precarious or ideas that could help enlighten society? While one inculcates uniqueness and progressiveness the other fosters a lack of individuality. Ideas help us instill a strong sense of specialty but it can also, on the contrary, snatch away that very specialty and uniqueness. How does that occur? Well, ideas are meant to be explored and reformed. Blindly following ideas and teachings can lead to a decay of human personality. One forgets or is unable to relate to others who believe in their own notions

April 15th 2017, the very concept of an idea resulted in the loss of an innocent life in Mardan, Pakistan. Mashal Khan was brutally killed because he didn’t conform to an idea that society deemed acceptable. The innocent young man symbolizes an idea portraying individualism while the mob that murdered him cold bloodedly represents a group of homogenous, like-minded flesh. Mashal Khan chose to get influenced by ideas to reform them into beliefs and concepts congruent to his own. The mob on the other hand chose to falsely and blindly follow an idea instead of stopping and thinking for a moment what their actions would cause. The lack of individualism is what brought together the mob, all believing in a singular idea. This very ignorance and inability to utilize ideas for progressing and intellectual proliferation is the root of all terror and instability in Pakistan.

The human brain is meant for evolving. Ideas can help us achieve this. Ideas should bring in the aspect of exploration, questions and critical analysis. This is what helps a society grow. Having diversity in thinking and accepting that diversity. Understanding the concept of individual thinking and idea is what we lack in our country. A few days ago, I was criticized over my attire by a teacher who didn’t stop to think that the person she was deriding had a totally different idea of dressing. It is dangerous to have this mindset. The idea of self righteousness needs to be erased.

Ideas should be used for human growth. Ideas themselves should also evolve and reform to be in congruence with current times and people’s current mindsets. Sticking to ideas unaltered throughout time and age is what harms society. It preaches intolerance. This is where one realizes when an idea could be healthy or damaging. When an idea preaches intolerance and stops you from uniqueness and diversities in other peoples thought system, that’s when it gets dangerous. When an idea promotes homogeneity and shuns individualism, that’s when is gets dangerous. Where an idea can help us prosper it can also cause deleterious effects. And this is the portrayal of a ‘Paradox of ideas’.

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