The Real Tragedy of Life is When Men Are Afraid of the Light
When men are afraid of the light; The tragedy of man seeing the light but refusing to acknowledge truth, fact or persecution
Man, the historic hunter gatherer, head of the household and leader of his family afraid of a few metaphorical light beams, surely not?
Seeing the light is a colloquial term for seeing or understanding the facts or truth of a subject. Man has a choice whether or not he is prepared to see this light and this delves into the motive of man rather than his rational thinking.
This is where the complexity of the human mind enters the fray and disrupts the natural flow of thinking. Children being afraid of the dark is something we accept and through clearly defined thought out explanations and the procession of time they grow out of their fear.
Man can see the light but refuses to acknowledge it
As the boy develops into a man his mind goes through a process of 'education' whereby he learns information and beliefs that condition his mind to a certain way of thinking.
From this base many things happen as people progress through life but there will be one constant which is change. Changes in circumstances come in varying degrees and ones ability to adapt to these changes can have a big bearing on your future and sometimes come into conflict with what you believe as right or wrong. Sometimes change is acceptable so it is easy to adapt, sometimes change is not acceptable and adapting becomes more challenging and sometimes change can never be accepted.
Begrudging acceptance is a path many forge, depending on the circumstances this could be inward disagreement but outward acceptance, the man can see the light but refuses to acknowledge it.
The Politics Of Thought
Information is power and control of information is a gateway to attaining and keeping power, by influencing how people think through information given to them, this is the politics of thought and it has been used in various forms for centuries.
The politics of thought will sometimes want you to go against all logical thinking and for reason of self interest people are prepared to sacrifice what they perceive as right to follow a self rewarding doctrine.
Abuses of power go unnoticed by the blind eye of the man who refuses to see the light to satisfy his personal agenda. Rational men can be coerced to do irrational things for the 'greater good' of whatever cause is being pursued.
The real tragedy of life occur when abuses of power are carried out towards minority groups in society and otherwise good men allow this persecution to continue right under their noses.
Men afraid to see the light of truth and reality
Sometimes people are afraid to put their head above the parapet for fear of it getting blown off so they remain silent and in so doing they are perpetuating the wrong doing. These are the examples of men afraid to see the light of truth and reality and it has proven very easy to inflict hate onto minority groups because their combined voice is seldom heard.
It is indeed a real tragedy of life when men are afraid of the light because it inevitably leads to someone suffering.
For attribution for the full quote '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', the internet is abuzz with most sources claiming it was from Plato, however no sources have been cited where he actually used this term of words.
It could be that Plato never actually made this quote meaning it could be an anonymous source responsible for uttering these words. In the absence of citation either way i'll stick with Plato with an open mind that is prepared to 'see the light' if the original source of this quote can be cited.