Children are afraid of darkness, men are afraid of light!Introduction
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of light” – Plato. The famous line of Plato is so much more valid in today’s world than it could have been in the times when it was written. I assume life was not that complicated those days and hence philosophers laid them out in simple terms.
However, now that there are more complex theories, more concerns and issues at large, there comes out to be many ways to describe a philosophy. This is one such quote which can be made to suit many situations of present times quite easily.
Some are of the view that this quote is very modern and has not been compiled by Plato. It is simply one of those internet memes where anything is attributed to anyone only to make it sound more apt and precise. It is also said that the quote holds no high philosophy as is attributed to the write-ups of Plato.For1. Running from problems:
Our life changes the track like a roller coaster and we are so afraid to take the ride on a new track that we almost get ourselves derailed and hide some, hurt and wounded. That is the tragedy being talked about here. We are afraid of facing the truth if it’s bitter enough to send chills down our spine so we rather prefer to be spineless and crouch away where no one can see us or account us for whatever could have happened.2. We keep deep dark secrets:
We have become so used to keep our secrets and lies within us that it somehow creates a dark space within where we retract to when we want to face the ghosts of our misdeeds. The rest of the day we could pretend to be hale and hearty but in some lonely hours of the night we do have to confront ourselves. Those are the dark places we hide to and do not even want anyone to know of it. It can lead to double personality disorders in some.3. Limelight:
Each one of us can talk about at least one other person we know of who has extraordinary talents but is so afraid of being in limelight that he/she decides to go and mix with the crowd. We might have ambitions that are so different from the others that we fear of being judged and standing out alone so we rather keep them within and confine ourselves to the safe zones where no one notices us. This is also one way of saying men are afraid of light.4. Confronting our actions:
We rarely have it in ourselves to confess our misdeeds. We fear being judged and not being forgiven or of punishment. Lies after lies, we retract to darkness from where there is no coming out without confessing the truth. Even if people are caught red-handed, they try to misdirect laws with false stories and excuse of being mentally ill. Too many cases still lie pending because it wasn’t confirmed that the accused really is the convict.5. We fear to differentiate:
We hear what the media has to say about a certain situation. We then see our people agreeing wholeheartedly to the report and criticizing the other side. Even if we have a voice of our own subconscious that keeps on saying that the truth could be different and that the report could just be a manipulative description, we usually go with what our people follow. That is how hatred is spread. Sometimes we act blind even when we see the truth clearly. We are afraid of listening to what our subconscious has to say and instead stick to the dark lies being propagated.6. Deep down there is evil in everyone:
Somewhere in the deepest core of our heart, we have that evil intention of removing from this planet every other being that agitates us. If it wasn’t for law and order and the fear of punishment, people wouldn’t necessarily control their anger and instead do what they want to do despite knowing it could be wrong. Smoking doesn’t cease to exist even when everyone knows what it can lead to. Drug addiction doesn’t subside with awareness programs. That is because evil doesn’t come from outside, it is within us. When we shy away from, it is darkness that takes over.Against1. Men are also afraid of dark:
Everyone is afraid of the kind of activities that flourish in the darkness of the world. Drug, mafia, terrorism, political conspiracies, et cetera, all prevail in the dark. Simple people do fear them. We fear when we are made to think that a blast somewhere that killed people could also be done in our area where we could lose people we love. And well, how many of us can take those daring haunted house tests where they leave you in abandoned places of paranormal activities? Not many? Exactly! We are afraid of darkness and we should be.2. Light is always welcome:
Men are not always afraid of light unless it is high enough to be hurting our eyes. There is life where there is light and loneliness where there is dark. A highly lit up road would always be our preference while coming back home alone at night. We do not want to tread in dark where there is conspiracy and unpredictability. Night does bring a certain serenity with it but that is also loved when there is some sort of illumination to make it worth living else we would rather get ourselves tucked inside a blanket and chant every prayer we know of.3. The cycle of dark and light:
Yes, everyone has secrets which they keep hidden in the darkest corners where no one can see it but that is human nature. We do not want the ghosts of past to affect our future and hence we do not like bringing them up. We like living in light where things are clear and open but if we dig up secrets that are not so pleasant, they will bring along pitch darkness that is capable of enveloping the light.4. We learn to grow and adapt:
We grow to adapt and accept that darkness is also a part of life. After every morning comes night and vice versa. The reason why there are so many taboo still in our society is because we are afraid of accepting dark. Well literally, we are racists too. We have yet to fully accept LGBT community. Transgender are still fighting for their rights. Sex-workers are treated like plague. We must accept that both dark and light have to co-exist.Conclusion:
Whether Plato actually wrote this or not is a matter of debate but the quote can be interpreted in many ways. Some interpretations will be liked and others will be bashed but that is absolutely fine until we hold on to our views and hear other views. That is where we become tolerant of light and darkness both. The cycle of night and day exists for a reason and so should our ambitions and fear. It is good to fear what is dark if it could be of risk instead of being stupidly daring and endangering your life.