I was required to read George Orwell’s 1984 a few years ago. I’ve never told anyone, but I gave up after a while. I tried reading it, but I never got past the first few chapters. I never finished it; I just browsed through it as quickly as I could. It was a good thing that I didn’t need to pass a paper on it.
Fast forward to about five years later. My sister gave me a copy of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey as a Christmas gift. I had wanted a copy of Fforde’s Thursday Next novels, but the book store didn’t have it that time. However, Fforde’s book didn’t disappoint me. For me, Shades of Grey was a “simplified” version of 1984. It was an easier and more colorful way of getting the message across. It reminded me of all the lessons we had back in college, and you don’t know how much that made me happy. I haven’t read something like that in a while, more so have that kind of conversation with someone. It was a relief to find such a book that actually talked to the Development Studies part of my mind.
That quote above spoke volumes to me. When I was still in UP, one of the topics we touched was Socialism. No matter what my professor said, I never believed that it was possible. People can’t just mindlessly follow rules. We think before we do anything, before we follow anyone. Deep inside, we all question things before we follow — it’s what makes us human! Plus, what kind of life would you lead if you just do what someone asks you do? How boring would that be!
Thinking, doubting, asking. It could threaten dogmas and laws, but what the hell. It makes this life more exciting.