Complete Name of Student
In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the cave symbolizes the set of ideas presented to us ever since our birth (Gaarde, 1996). We are made to believe that these are the absolute truths and the people representing them are the absolute authorities. In this sense, the cave dwellers were governed by the idea that the cave was all there is to the world and the shadows was all they had. In the same way, some of us were born and grew up with particular beliefs systems and ideologies we thought was all and absolute. We hold on to these values and ideas until we go out and discover that there is a much larger world to see—this is what the cave dweller who was able to escape did—he went out to the world and discovered new and different things (Heidegger, 2004). Our world will remain small if we do not break from the chains that bind us to the set of ideas and beliefs that hinder our growth as human beings.
For example, in Christianity, we were made to believe that certain things, certain acts, certain deeds are sin. This belief binds us to the cave preventing us to come out of our comfort zones, discover the world and ourselves (Corbet, 2005). The first step of escaping from the cave was being aware that I am living inside it and I am bound and that I need to get out of it. Next was getting out of the cave and educating myself through exploring the world and learning new things; this also includes meeting new people. Finally, I lived the actual life that I have discovered and stood firm. I did not go back to the cave and let myself be chained again to the same ideas and beliefs nor did I let it kill me. I chose a path of continuous learning—and that is what I have learned—that learning must be fluid and our minds must be open to new knowledge because this world that we are living in does not stop from changing every second and every day.
Escaping from the cave made me a better person. Of all the things I have learned, I believe that it turned me into an open-minded person. My outlook in life was entirely changed—like the cave dweller who went out, it was like seeing flowers bloom, grass swaying to the direction of the wind, and the sun warming my pale skin. It was like coming home, except that I barely know the place. It is as though as if there is an intent to live in two co-existing but separated worlds. Nonetheless, it was an experience I will never trade for anything. I became more open to ideas and different viewpoints. It made me more understanding, knowing that the world and its populace are very much diverse and sometimes we could all just agree to disagree. It helped me get along with the significant persons in life especially when they need an opinion from a different perspective. This is a particularly critical element of our interrelationship with other people because the more we get to accommodate other viewpoints and ideology, the more we become open to embracing our diversity and differences. Furthermore, being free from the chains made me hungrier for knowledge and it deeply motivated me to go further and discover new things. In order to grow, one must be able to wander away from what is usual or commonly practiced. The more we get ourselves to experience and discover new things, the more we acquire significant knowledge that will help us to increase our understanding of the world and the people around us. Most of all, it made my life a lot more exciting for I am keen to new adventures and conquests each new day because there is a lot to see in this vast creation known as the Earth.
Corbett, W. (2005). An Allegory of the Cave and the Desert Palace. Faculty Scholarship.
Gaarder, J. (1996). Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc.
Heidegger, M. (2004). The essence of truth: On Plato's parable of the cave and Theaetetus. London,
UK: Bloomsbury Academic.