Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The mind of a child.

These past few days I've picked up a new book: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. It's not something I would typically read (usually biographies or psychology textbooks for fun... strange, I know), but I'm really enjoying it. 

If you're not familiar with the story, Don Quixote is about a man who reads a lot of stories on chivalry and the medieval times, and decides he wants to become a knight. Everybody thinks he is insane because those days of feudalism had long passed, and because he employs such a unique approach in becoming a respected member of society. He gets into fights with windmills ("giants"), names a random woman as his mistress, and thinks that a bunch of sheep are an army trying to fight him. 

The whole book, or as much of it as I have read, is comical and silly, but the main idea it is trying to express is how society dulls down people, and how those with a childlike drive may stand out in odd ways. In spite of this, these individuals are the most fulfilled because they are following their intuition and not anybody else's.

Even if it means complete isolation and making fools out of ourselves, I believe we should all be like Don Quixote in trying to fulfill our idealistic dreams.  This is very much the way that children think - straight to the point and imaginative - until they grow up and are forced to conform to society's standards. It's a shame that this happens, because I'm noticing more and more that our culture, which is reflective of this world we live in, is watered-down and dull. The current counter-culture among teens and young adults doesn't even know what it's rebelling against, since everyone is essentially the same. Though we all try to be unique, who really is anymore? Likewise, adulthood forces the majority of people into cubicles and the same tailored suit. Even the artists out there have to appeal to a certain audience, it's really a shame. What happened to creating art to say what you want to say? Don't get me wrong; there are still those kinds of artists out there, but unfortunately these artists are becoming a rarity. 

This is really turning into a rant (which isn't want I'm going for), but people need to think like children, really indulge in their dreams, and not care what anybody else thinks. We should go back to those days of wanting to be a firefighter, an astronaut, a pop singer. What 5 year old wants to be an accountant? Think about that. Find out what your biggest dreams are and work at them! You'll be so much happier in the long run, believe me.

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