bertolt brecht

in someone else's words

8:28 AM

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thristle, withered


“You have a feeble voice, 
therefore you are timid; 
you ask too many questions, 
therefore you’re a flunkey; 
you try to set traps for me, 
therefore you’re not sure of anything, 
even the surest thing; 
you don’t believe me 
but listen to me all the same, 
therefore you’re a weak man, 
and finally you believe that 
the whole world revolves around you, 
when there are people far more important, myself for instance. 
Beside, you are blind, deaf and ignorant. 
As for you other vices, 
I don’t know them yet”.

  This weekend I came across a small one-act play of Bertolt Brecht that is called "The beggar, or the dead dog" and nearly reaches the five pages. It is about the dialogue between a king, who rushes to celebrate his victory, and a beggar, who is very sad because his only companion, his dog, died the previous night.

  I was completely amazed by a part of the dialogue that shows how easily we can give at least two interpretations of everything, a positive, a negative and million intermediate gradations. It really reminded me some events and words of the past, which made me feel sad or inadequate, but I could deal with them differently and give them a positive meaning. Read the rest text to find out what I mean:

“You speak softly, 
therefore you are humble; 
you ask many questions, 
therefore you seek knowledge; 
you weigh up everything, 
therefore you are skeptical; 
you listen to what you believe to be lies, 
therefore you are tolerant; 
you believe that everything revolves 
around yourself,
therefore you are no worse than other men 
and believe nothing more stupid than they do. 
Besides, you are not confused 
by too much seeing, 
don’t bother with things 
that don’t concern you, 
are not made inactive by knowledge. 
As for you other virtue, 
you know them better than I do, or anyone else”.
For the times I’ve been trapped 
in someone else’s words...

References


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