Friday, November 21, 2008
Helia, don't let them judge us...*
I have been presenting a lot lately…my research results, that is!
But it was not only my work related research results. Three out of four were, three weeks in November, in different conferences. Then there was one, which was very personal, sort of a personal vow.
You see, I had a favorite Persian author in recent years. I had read most of his books, watched the only movie which was shown from him, and had hiked alongside of him and my father in my early youth years; when hiking with Mr. Alchemist had not started yet! He was a true master of Persian words. There was even a funny story about him, when he was a university student, he had written a text in the old Persian style, and had convinced his teachers that he had actually found this text on a piece of paper inside a book in the library. Everyone was fooled by his strong style of writing and had believed the story.
I loved his books, his characters and his words. So when he passed away – strangely, because of a brain tumor which made him unable to write or even to speak – I felt responsible inside to give a talk about him, and I did.
But this was not the whole story. This made me think about something else. While I was going through his books after a long time again to prepare for my presentation, I found out that I have changed, and so now I have some contradictions with his ideas. The same ideas which 10 years ago while reading his pieces made me nod and think to myself: “Yeah! Right… I know what you mean…Exactly…”; now seemed different. I couldn’t accept some of them. They made me object inside.
I know this is certainly because I am not the same person as 10 years ago, but then I thought, am I allowed to think about this person’s beliefs as well? I mean, he was a writer; a strong story teller. Now that I love his stories, do I have to judge his beliefs and thoughts too?
There are so many of these examples out there. The amazing poet who doesn’t have a good reputation in his relationships with women, the great singer who supports this or that political party which are not in parallel with our beliefs, or the perfect scientist who is not successful in his marriage. Are we allowed to judge them?
There is another side to this story, which I have also seen very often: those who are good/great in one subject and think that this makes them eligible to make speeches and theories about everything else in life. Like the mathematics/physics/chemistry genius who thinks everyone should hear/consider his opinions about politics, or the classic example, the elderly who think just because of their age, they are eligible not only to advise the right life style, but also for royalty respect!
All what I mean is, I don’t think doing well in one aspect of life, makes us equally well in other aspects. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s fair to judge people not concentrating on their specialties, but considering a general figure. Although I know it’s very difficult to get to this stage, believe me…
But whatever his beliefs were, I’ll always remember his stories, and some of his quotes, “Happiness, is not the lack of sadness. It’s having the sadness in life, and dominating it.”
*PS: The title is another quote, from one of his books. One of the most romantic books I have ever read in persian.
Posted by Nava at 2:03 PM