But was a foundation to be found? What if there was no such thing? Well then,I wanted to know that for myself. And if there was one, I felt compelled to find it.
I started out and soon realized that just a cursory glance—a half-hearted attempt, arbitrarily picking up a point here or there—would not do. I would have to be open to the full weight of evidence.
If I was afraid of being proved wrong and even more afraid of having to make changes in my life, my quest was doomed even before it had begun. Of course, being open and fair under such circumstances was easier said than done, yet I
could not make that an excuse for not trying.
So I made a choice—to start where the ground was level, taking the place of a common person "on the street" and facing the myriad voices without wearing my "emperor's clothes." The dilemma notwithstanding, I felt I had made a beginning. But would I remain fair throughout? This thought was always troubling, even though I knew that nobody on earth had risen completely free of bias and intolerance. I would just have to take it as a challenge and do my best.
So now let's get on with this journey. If I prove to be an unworthy companion, the solution is simple—just drop the book.
But if you agree that "give and take" is integral to community life, that respect and honesty can peacefully coexist, and that differing views need not spawn rancor or hostility, I invite you to keep company with me. After all, how pleasant and enjoyable can a journey be without fellow travelers and companions!
© 2014 by Subodh K. Pandit, MD
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