The Three Giants: Injustice, Fear, Ignorance

Daunting Challenges of Humanity: Reflections from the Pen of Cervantes

“We battle against three grand giants, my dear Sancho: injustice, fear, ignorance,” an extraordinary and enlightening phrase taken from “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes. These three “giants” – injustice, fear, and ignorance – represent some of the deepest and persistent problems of our society.

The first giant, injustice, manifests in a myriad of ways, from economic inequalities to political oppression, from racial discrimination to gender disparities. It’s an insidious enemy that undermines the foundations of our society, fueling conflict and despair. To combat injustice, a continuous commitment towards fairness, transparency, and accountability is required. We are all called upon to challenge the existing power structures, to hold those in power accountable for their actions, and to work for a more just and inclusive society.

The second giant, fear, is perhaps the most paralyzing. Fear isolates us, divides us, makes us suspicious of each other. It’s the fuel for many of our time’s issues, from populism to xenophobia, from climate change to isolationism. To combat fear, we must promote courage, compassion, and understanding. We must resist the temptation to shut ourselves off, to reject the other, and must learn to embrace diversity as a resource, not a threat.

But it’s the third giant, ignorance, which is perhaps the hardest to combat. Ignorance is not only the lack of knowledge but also the reluctance to seek the truth, to challenge one’s beliefs, to acknowledge and learn from mistakes. Ignorance is the mother of all fears and the nourishment of every injustice. It’s ignorance that renders us unable to see beyond our limited perspectives, that makes us believe in falsehoods and reject evidence, that prevents us from changing and growing.

To combat ignorance, it’s crucial to value education, curiosity, and critical thinking. We must foster a culture of knowledge, where each individual is encouraged to seek the truth, to challenge received ideas, to engage with the different. But above all, we must promote an attitude of intellectual humility, the awareness that we don’t know everything, that we can be wrong, that we always have something to learn.

Because, as Don Quixote reminds us, the battle against the three giants is not only a matter of strength or courage, but also – and above all – of wisdom. It’s the wisdom that allows us to see beyond appearances, to recognize injustice even when it’s disguised as law, to resist fear even when it’s fueled by demagogues, to challenge ignorance even when it’s comfortable and convenient. And perhaps, just like the mad knight of La Mancha, it’s the wisdom that allows us to see giants where others see only windmills.

© Marco Mattiuzzi

By Marco Mattiuzzi

A multifaceted artist, former teacher and communicator, he has dedicated years to art and communication. He taught classical guitar, exhibited photos and wrote in magazines. In the book sector, he promoted photography and art through HF Distribuzione, a company specialized in mail-order sales. He currently owns CYBERSPAZIO WEB & STREAMING HOSTING. In 2018, he created the Facebook group "Art Pills" with over 65,000 members and manages CYBERSPAZIO WEB RADIO dedicated to classical music. He collaborates with several cultural organizations in Vercelli, including Amici dei Musei and Artes Liberales.
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