Thursday, 30 August 2012

Curiosity, Enlightenment and the Paralympic Spirit

Yesterday I watched the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games on TV.

I was inspired by the words of Professor Stephen Hawking who said: Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious.

This morning, as a consequence, I wrote the following:

An unquenchable flame exists within the human spirit. As a species we continually strive for enlightenment. 

With our technology we can now look out to the cosmos or peer into the world of the quantum particle in our quest to know why this boundless universe exists at all.

But history warns us that there are those who would have the world otherwise; who would seize its technologies and discoveries and reshape them to fit their own beliefs and prejudices; who would not hesitate to use great armies and much of the world's resources for their own despotic ends. 

Today, as always, there are also those who would gladly extinguish the flames of curiosity, scientific investigation, freedom, equality and progress and plunge the world into another nightmare age of darkness, superstition, and ignorance.

These dangerous so-called leaders have sometimes briefly succeeded, or apparently so; but even then during those epochs when ignorance was wisdom they instinctively knew deep within themselves that they could never really succeed.

Fortunately there is a mysterious something, a power of sorts, in the human spirit which is much greater than delusion and self-proclaimed greatness.

Setbacks along the way serve only to make us more determined to achieve our goal.

We shall continue on our journey of discovery with a burning curiosity that drives us relentlessly forwards.

We will do it because it is our raison d'etre. It is our future.

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