Who Is More Foolish?

“Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?” -Maurice Freehill

This quote is a statement with realities and truths that empower its meaning. There are hundreds of interpretations and explanations online, but I’d like to take it further with real world scenarios that validate what the meaning suggest. I hope my post is helpful in deciphering this quote and that my readers will learn and reflect from it.

A child who is afraid of the dark is afraid of monsters and other creepy crawlies- essentially being afraid of the dark is being afraid of the unknown. A man however, is afraid of what he does know. Man knows the truth, but might refuse to accept it because it’s hard to face or imagine it. This message is simple, but with the help of real examples we can uncover more of its meaning.

One example that I like is the moon landing. Some skeptics don’t believe we went to the moon maybe because they can’t accept the idea of humans floating in space and being able to propel to such heights, so they deny the whole thing ever happening. Taking this further, it’s possible to even say some might deny the existence of life on other planets, because they can’t grapple the fact we aren’t the only ones in the universe. Am I saying aliens are real? Not at all, in fact, there’s still no evidence that life exists elsewhere.

Another example is the atom bomb. Was it a great discovery? More importantly, knowing of its destructive nature what were the reasons for building one? All the scientist, engineers, workers, and people behind making it surely knew of its power, but did some deny the idea of its terrible and horrific use, and that it eventually lead to the annihilation of two Japanese cities killing at least 129,000 people? This is a significant and very real instance of “man afraid of the light” at work. The light being the reality of how destructive the bomb is, and what it is capable of. Maybe some people developing the bomb were afraid of what it was capable of, and decided to ignore it because their job relied on it?

I think these two examples fit the quote and what it suggest. A man can be afraid of accepting the truth, or know some truth yet sit back and ignore it for whatever reason. Whether that be selfishness, ignorance, negligence, or other acts of denying the truth in favor of a perceived truth. Now that I’ve explained the meaning and interpretation of Freehill’s quote, do you know other real examples of it at work? I found this to be one of the most interesting quotes I’ve posted and I hope you like it too! Thank you for reading!

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