The Most Uneducated, The Most Unimaginative, The Most Unthinking

Plato wrote:

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” 

Last week when I heard that a woman from Gatineau was fined because she posted in English on her Facebook page I was upset. And all this time I thought Facebook was something private. Private in the sense that it’s your own page so you can do whatever you want with it, right?


This news saddened me. First because in the rest of the world people are fighting and sacrificing their lives for democracy, for freedom of rights. And secondly because it was not long ago that I was living on the other side of the Atlantic dreaming of the day when I would belong to a place where I could call home and feel like a human being again.

Milan Kundera wrote:

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”

And again this morning, I read on the internet that at a Tim Horton’s in Laval a customer was not only refused to be served by an employee because he didn’t order in French as he spoke English, but also was beaten up by other customers while the employees watched and didn’t interfere.

Such news not only makes me mad and angry but depresses me too. Because as a human being it violates my rights too. It makes me feel that I am in a foreign country instead of being at home. And as such, I feel like I am walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded by my family, my colleagues, and friends. In a place where I cannot speak my mind nor the language of my heart. To use Isaac Asimov’s words:

“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.” 


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3 Responses to The Most Uneducated, The Most Unimaginative, The Most Unthinking

  1. Daniel says:

    I saw a compelling TED talk on a similar theme. The talk is by Chimamanda Adichie, a revered writer. The abundance of cruelty in the world is stunning.

  2. tinemagpayo says:

    You have the perfect set of quotes. And you really write well too 🙂

  3. susanrouchard says:

    dear ChK,
    thank you for the quotes. I feel for you. In 2004 I visited Montreal with one of my daughters with the intention of finishing a Masters Degree in Canadian Literature. At the ‘gîte’ where we stayed The owner frowned every time I spoke to my daughter in English and in the street I couldn’t speak English in French quarters without people turning their heads disapprovingly. In the end I finished my degree in France. I am Franco-British and my Husband is French. I live in Toulouse France. I never got to go to Lebanon before the first war there in the 80’s which I know was such a religious and linguistic tolerant place. I hope it will re-become one again, some day in our children’s lifetime. Try New Orleans or some place quieter in Louisiana maybe…take a trip there and see, if you can. You can talk to me anytime.

    Susan B. R.

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