I hereby Pledge
that I will always remain open
to the possibility
that everything I believe and hold to be true
might be wrong;
that I will always oblige myself
to continuously and relentlessly
my every conviction;
that if I ever feel afraid
to engage openly and honestly
in a debate or conversation
for fear of having my convictions shaken
I shall uncompromisingly read this
as a sign
that my convictions are probably wrong;
that if I ever express
a sentiment that boils down to
‘nothing you say could ever change my mind’
I shall from that point forward
be regarded as a fanatic
and not be taken seriously.
If you read that you are now my witness of having taken the pledge and if you agree with me that these are valuable positions to stand by in the world today please feel free to take it yourself by reblogging this.
The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is ‘No’. Peace of mind is one of those things that most people assume they want but never really think about what it means, and most probably wouldn’t want if they did. Or so I have come to believe. Hear me out.
I, like most people, have casually believed myself to seek peace of mind, or at least pictured it as something worthy of aspiring towards. Many a time have I wished to be sure enough of myself and my convictions to never have to doubt my own judgement or decisions. But this, I have realized, is an error of thought. An exercise in vanity.
Peace of mind is reserved for the fanatic.
Doubt, regret, guilt and shame are the burdens we bear in exchange
for free will, free thought and reason.
To seek peace of mind is to welcome indoctrination
and few of us would do that if aware.
And this is important, not least for the reason that we live in a society that acknowledge and respect our convictions more the stronger we hold them, where we are taken more seriously the surer we seem of ourselves and the louder we shout, where doubt is almost always perceived as a weakness. The result of this can never be anything other than polarization and fanatics in positions of power.