Sunday, October 13, 2019
The Life Behind Things :: Psychology Technology Personal Narrative Papers
The Life Behind Things Free: this is how human beings living in democratic societies describe themselves. The general idea, nowadays, is that as long as you are considered equal and are able to voice your opinion and defend your own beliefs, the power is in your hand. Gone are the chains of repression and tyranny that permeated ancient times and enslaved whole societies in the prisons of silence and immobility, forcing them to surrender all of their power to the ruler. All that is left now is one word, resounding gloriously in the back of our minds every time we compare our current situation with that of the past: freedom. I used to feel that liberation every day, especially when I learned about foreign societies that had "remained" imprisoned by unscrupulous leaders who refused to relinquish their power and wealth to the people, however needy the latter were. Political police, torture, propaganda: all these horrifying stories whirled in my head and inevitably brought me back to the same evident conclusion, the fact that I was lucky to inhabit a "modern," "Western" country, and that my freedom, both compared to these unfortunate people and in absolute terms, was unlimited. Indeed, I had never felt any pressure of any kind to act a certain way, or hold specific beliefs at the expense of my own ideas. The origins of such a view of the world were the innate thought that only another human being, especially a man-have we ever seen a female dictator?-could take away my personal power and control my actions. For what else could? Such had been my state of mind when I came to NYU-sixteen years spent holding the firm belief that I had control over my actions, probably silently injected in my mind by my proud parents, as well as by the French society in general and all that it entails: the media, school, politicians. It pervaded my mental life, and I whispered this doctrine to myself, as though humming a baby nursery rhyme, probably pacifying my unconscious claims the way the soft lullaby would console a newborn baby, making his tears subside and causing him to forget why he was weeping in the first place. I had never considered and thought about my life in other terms. Originally not wanting to question this whole system of ideas, which would unavoidably cause great chaos in my mind, I started thinking about the recent turn that my life had taken, a few weeks ago.