The Thought for the Day – Jean-Francois Steiner

…but then since we have no more illusions, we are free to act – Jean-Francois Steiner, Treblinka

Treblinka is a historical novel about the Nazi concentration camp of the same name, based on the testimony of some who survived it and today’s Thought is the second quote from the book to make this feature. Treblinka is a memorable book and we heartily recommend it, though some research shows it has not met with universal acclaim.

Today’s Thought comes towards the end of the book when a group of prisoners are getting ready to implement their escape plan. The prisoners have, finally, shedded any illusion they will be rescued or that their lot will improve, the only possible outcome being they will die – probably violently and definitely tragically – at Treblinka. Their illusions shed, they were liberated to act.

Illusions are not to be confused with dreams. Illusions are incorrect perceptions on our part, while dreams are something we can go out and chase and catch. Between the imposters of fame, fortune, the spectacular and the splendid, us humans are very good at deluding ourselves. Assorted media shows us famous and wealthy people whenever we are in a mood to view them. Advertisements work very hard to make their products seem inspiring and important so we will go and buy them.

Illusions, ultimately, are bad because they blind us to what is really happening and what we are really feeling, which might very well prevent us from trying things lest that illusion be shattered.

All of us are born with talents and interests and these cause their share of illusions, too, allowing us to dream of an accomplishment’s reward instead of the accomplishment itself and the journey that attends any accomplishment.

If we are going to truly accomplish something, we must shed the illusions that bind us. When we do that, we when are completely focused on the journey and have rid ourselves of all outside influences, then we will find ourselves in position to completely maximize our time on this planet and the talents we were born with. We will be able to withdraw every possible benefit from whatever experience we’ve embarked on.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.


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