There is a famous allegory called “Allegory of the Cave” proposed by the ancient philosopher Plato. In this allegory, Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality. One of the prisoners manage to break his chains one day and discovers that his reality was not what he thought it was, he now perceives the true form of reality rather than the manufactured reality that is seen by the prisoners. When the prisoner returns to the cave, whose eyes have become accustomed to the sunlight, becomes blind when he re-enters the cave, just as he was when he was first exposed to the sun. According to Plato, the prisoners would infer from the returning man’s blindness that he has become mad and they should not leave this cave at any cost.
This analogy is the best way to explain a foreign eye the society's mindset. Educated or not, people do not want to change their way of thinking or their reality. As long as what’s happening right now isn’t affecting them, everything is just fine… People become empty headed with no thoughts of their own, start not to think when they need the most because right now all the men that are brave enough to speak the truth are imprisoned.
Instead of fake news, there are no news at all on TV or any other medium, just trivial coverages about the cats, food or the last car crash… When you try to acquire knowledge about what is really happening with the country the things you will find are going to be; people who are supporting men on the top of the pyramid no matter what, dissidents whose only goal is to dispraise even the good thing that are happening or the terrorism supporters that are telling their own lies. There is absolutely nobody, no company, no channel or highbrow to tell you the truth. All they talk about is their own realities built with their imagination. When I wake up everyday the only thing I can think about is this quote from George Orwell in his novel 1984;
War is peace,
We have become ignorant and this is our fault too. The only way to change this, is to be brave enough to seek for the truth. Everything can be changed or undone. We need to break our chains, leave our safe place and wander without fear. We must analyse an issue from all perspectives. We must read but not only from one source, even the ones that we strongly disagree with. We must understand how other people think, without making assumptions. We must even learn new languages in order to acquire information, true information… We must see the unseen and then make it heard. The search for the truth needs to be a way of living rather than a purpose to fulfil. That is the only way we can find the truth, that is the only way we can find salvation.
Leo Can Caner
2nd Vice President of Agora Leo Club, Turkey
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