Havel is a role model. He shows us what a public figure, a politician and a citizen can be. He is definitely not afraid to think deeper and to express himself. He is not afraid to formulate unpopular opinions. He tries to understand pluses and minuses of each system. E.x. he is for continous political integration, but he thinks globalization is a problem. He recognized the pitfalls of both Soviet regime and consumerism society that both causes normalization and standardization of people.
It was interesting for me to read his book for several reasons:
- to learn his story
- to learn about his thoughts
- to take a look at his diary
The diary of the President was an interesting read on itself. It contained his agenda for a lot of days and it showed him as a real simple very likable human, which is quite opposite of the politicians of the day.
Havel wanted to be a role model. He wanted to remind his fellow citizens of better and bigger ideals, he wanted to inspire them to improve. Politicians of today mostly move in opposite direction. They just represent the worst parts of our society and our people. If society is corrupt, politicians are corrupt. If society is uneducated, politicians are profane.
Fascinating book because it’s both autobiography, but also book on philosophy.
Miłosz shares his story of life and formation of his personality and outlook. His account is extremely valuable since he was born in the Polish family in the Lithuanian part of the Russian empire, saw WWI, grew up during independent Poland, experienced WWII as a poet in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. He spent a lot of time in the West (eventually migrating to the US) and in the communist Poland.
His life is a great example how a human being can live in different systems (imperialism, fascism, communism and capitalism) but still hold to the sacred values. In fact, he shows us that is possible to transcend horrors of our human-made systems.
His story is both about losing and finding faith in humanity. His philosophy is about searching of new explanations for the world and good, seeking new narratives that would reconcile scientific outlook and world religions.
Being Eastern European and living through different systems and cultures his shares his insights on Russia, America, and France. He gives glimpses of hope to other Eastern European and I believe any developing country. In his mind, historical tragedy and past events are not the final verdicts. Those are merely challenges that help us grow because it’s only in the time of turbulence and change that you can really grow.
(Editor: Piłsudski’s) was … a vision of a non-national state embracing both the Polish Kingdom ad the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A dream that was either anachronism or too modern - depending upon how it would have been realized in practice. At an hour of awakening nationalism, such a conception was both too late and too early.Czesław Miłosz
I can consider myself a typical Eastern European. It seems to be true that his differentia specifica can be boiled down to a lack of form - both inner and outer. His good qualities - intellectual activity, fervor in discussion, a sense of irony, freshness of feeling, spatial (or geographical) fantasy - derive from a basic weakness: he always remains an adolescent, governed by a sudden ebb or flow of inner chaos. Form is achieved in stable societies.Czesław Miłosz