August 15, 2016

On Original Thinking...Basically, Don't Be A Rhinoceros

My French classes during the last years of high school were spent mainly dissecting a bunch of avant-garde, absurd and stream of thought books and essays. One such book was Ionesco's Rhinoceros, a critique of nazism and how some people easily allowed themselves to accept and adopt the evil views (thereby turning into a big, fat rhinoceros).

And here's what Oscar Wilde had to say(1) about thinking outside the box or, should I say, common thought:

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

I like to think from time to time about how I would have thought and acted had I grown up in another part of the world, or during another era. Would I have been a forward-thinker, brave enough to go against the mainstream? Or would I, like so many others, have been easily indoctrinated, unable to see past the end of my nose (to paraphrase Mary Poppins)?

I'd like to think it would have been the former, of course, but to be totally honest...I have no idea. What about you?

(1) From De Profundis (1897), a letter written while in prison.

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