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Open your eyes, ears, heart, mind

George Orwell mentioned all throughout his masterpiece book ‘Nineteen eighty four’ the thoughts and actions of the proletarians, which are described as ignorant people who can’t care less of anything that happens outside their direct daily lives in his book. Ignorance is bliss. Or as “Goldstein” would say, “Ignorance is Strength”.

But I choose not live my life like that. Not now, not ever. Can you? I honestly prefer to lead a life in search for information, further knowledge, and culture, while having the possibility of changing my mood, thoughts, and actions based on this data, instead of living a “normal” life in the safety and comfort of ignorance.

A friend of mine once spoke to me about three kinds of events that open your mind to new ideas, possibilities and information:

  • Meeting someone from another country.
  • Travelling to another country.
  • Learning another language.

In my own opinion, having passed through those three events, I concur with him. They really change your perspective and view of the world, society, and culture.

I would like to add another three mind-opening stages that help you form a sense of identity:

  • Adolescence & friendship
  • Literature & philosophical talks
  • Having a partner

Why do I consider these stages/events as meaningful components of identity, maturity and knowledge?

Adolescence, at least in many cultures, is considered a stage of rebellion, change, transition, problems, questions, and overall madness. But it is in this stage where many of the strong lifelong ideas are formed. It is also in this stage when true friends are found, **friendships **that may last a lifetime. These are vital components of identity. And even if many of the ideas you have while going through this stage may be wrong, it is a necessary step to have these wrong ideas in order to clearly define them and change them further on.

**Literature **opens your mind to understand how others think, and allows you to develop critical thinking. This paves the way to formulating opinions based on facts instead of biased assumptions. The more you learn, the more you know, the more you can speak about, the more you can teach about, and so on.

This also brings me to the point of philosophy, and philosophical talks. These types of talks seem like endless debates about this and that. However, the actual discussion may open your mind to search for more information about specific topics and formulate a better opinion. These talks can then lead to better structured debates, and finally to an idea which may spark a change. That is why I consider the basis of all this, these philosophical talks, such an important issue.

Finally, a partner, may keep you centred on reality. While adolescence many times includes biased opinions and self centeredness, literature and philosophy allow you to form an opinion, and having a partner many times concretes that opinion, removing the egoism from self-centred thoughts formed during adolescence. That is why people who are successful in relationships are often people who stop thinking solely about themselves but think in greater proportion of other people, specifically their partners.

One must be somewhat selfish to succeed in today’s world, but you must never put aside your partner or loved ones, the same way you must never put aside striving for a common good instead of personal satisfaction. There must be a sense of equilibrium, as this allows an easier flow of knowledge, clarity and understanding. Are you ready to open you eyes, ears, heart and mind?