To let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.
John Keats 1795 – 1821
My Grannies were very fond of Keats I think because he died young, so was romantic:)
The early part of this quote is ‘the only means of strengthening ones interest is to make up one’s mind about nothing.’
I have taken the last bit of the quote because, in my ageing I have come to realize the whole thought is one which the young come very early, some continue this way, other’s begin to conform.
To take sides,
It is human nature.
Tis the way of a social animal.
My father discussed this quote with me long ago when I was ‘doing’ Keats at school He was himself not just liberal but a Liberal (UK Liberal). I often accused him of sitting on the fence, but I took on his philosophy quite early, although with tweaks that suited my life and times. He approved of ‘letting the mind be open’ to all sides of any argument. To make a sound decision of what one believed in, he argued, one needed to know the alternatives and to know the pros and cons of one’s own thoughts.
He was up to debate at the drop of a hat! A bit of a philosopher, my Dad.
He didn’t even have to like what he supported; take the repeal of the law on homosexuality back in the 1967. He, himself, said he was very uneasy about the act, he couldn’t bring himself to ponder too much on it
and this was what made him support it.
Justice would be served by making the act legal, How people conduct themselves in privacy with love or even only liking was their business.He had been arguing this for quite some time I discovered much to friends and families disgust. He was for equality for all.
It made a huge impression on me at the time. Firstly because I didn’t until then know the act was still illegal but mainly because he was a large enough person to support such an alien idea to him.
I too count myself liberal and have often voted Liberal. Not to my shame as liberal as he was, is that down to my gender? my lifestyle? my travel or the times?
I do recognize I’m not as I should be, but I try, I try.
I have lived long enough to have witnessed many acts / situations which I am more than a little uneasy about personally but I look at each as they come, try to balance the sides, find the alternative ways of thinking, try out the another man’s shoes so to speak before I make too hasty a judgement.
Now my big problem is, what is the correct position on the tide of refugees fleeing into Europe. MY instinct is, humanity should prevail; how can we turn our backs on the fear and misery presenting at our borders. Especially with a history of welcoming refugees. My worry is where and how can we accommodate a few million more without upsetting the delicate balance of an already crowded island. There is the room and we probably can fund it, but with so much fear and distrust, so many willing to incite hate and violence against the ‘other’, I do not envy those who have to make the decisions. Others in Europe are struggling to reconcile this same problem. I hope a way can be found to let common humanity and decency can prevail.
When one is young, one can say as Keats.
In the real world?
It is never that easy.
This quote is part of Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts