April 4, 1984. Winston Smith, the hero of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty–Four, opens a blank journal and begins to write down his own thoughts—an act of resistance that is the key to his undoing.
April 4, 2017. Thinking your own thoughts is once again an act of resistance, even defiance. We live in a post–Truth world that promotes mutually exclusive ideologies built on alternative facts and fake news, designed to promote a nihilistic ideology that life is meaningless and only buying the next big thing can save us. In Orwell’s April 4th Big Brother is imposed upon us. In our April 4th we happily give our autonomy away to Facebook and Twitter who sell us to the highest bidder, and where we are being spied upon by our microwave ovens and smartphones.
April 4, 1984 was Winston Smith’s Resistance Day. Make April 4, 2017 your own Resistance Day as well. Here’s how:
• Buy or make a blank journal for yourself.
• Purchase a pen that speaks to your hand that your thoughts might flow.
• Keep a journal of your thoughts.
• Comment on news stories that shape your life, and what they mean.
• Think for yourself, don’t just parrot what you hear on Fox or MSNBC.
• Write down and comment on incidents that shock and shape you each day.
• List the words that limit what you think, and write about how to resist them.
• Grow your vocabulary. Use your journal to learn new words.
• Read and comment on teachings in The World Wisdom Bible.
• Dare to tell yourself in print what you are afraid to admit in public.
Don’t show your journal to anyone. As soon as you begin to write for an audience, you are no longer as honest as you can be. Blogging, for instance, is performance art. You blog as a persona not your real self. Journaling is just you, if you are brave enough to see yourself as you are.
One River Foundation has applied to have April 4th registered as National Wisdom Journal Day. We have yet to hear back regarding this, but official or not, we claim the day. In the not too distant future we will post Wisdom Prompts from The World Wisdom Bible on our website (oneriverfoundation.org) and invite you to explore their meaning for yourself in your Wisdom Journal.
Write now. Even if it is only a word or two.