Dear John Keating,
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, and engineering, are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, and love, are what we stay alive for. ”
These words are still etched on my heart for all of us who had the opportunity to watch Dead Poets Society wanted a John Keating in our life. And why wouldn’t they? Since childhood, when we were asked what we wanted to become as an adult, the answers that reaped esteem and appreciation were doctors, police, engineers, or lawyers.
O, Captain! My Captain! for once, all of us wanted someone who would see the passion inside of us and who would encourage us to follow what we love.
Even after being from a fictional world, you were that someone in our life. Maybe that is the reason why we still watch Dead Poets Society during the bad phase of our life–it feels that even if everyone around us ignores our potential, we are still there in the class motivating us to keep going.
We were trained to fit inside the clocks, fixing time to run behind things we don’t actually desire only to end up becoming a clock ourselves. You told us that life is not just about pursuing careers and earning money. You taught us that discovering your passion is as equally important.
We are human beings. We need the same love and care. We feel the same emotions even if we react differently. In the end, we also desire the same things. Hence, there is a poet inside each of us.
Poetry isn’t just a compilation of difficult words to show one’s intellect or vocabulary. John Keating told us that poetry is the art to express oneself. It is not there to impress but to show who we are and what we do.
When talking about John Keating how can we forget Carpe Diem? The rebel in us is nourished through your motivation. But even today, most of us are still imitating our teachers and parents.
But you told us that those who dared to be different had the whole world waiting for them. Even though Neil couldn’t achieve his dream, your message pushed the other students to do what was right.
In a way, you were similar to Socrates. Both of you were punished for “corrupting” the youth. O, Captain! My Captain! You inspired not just the pupils of Welton Academy but many teenagers across the world.
It is easy to retain unique ideas in an open-minded community. What requires true courage and bravery is to keep your opinion in a conservative world.
“Each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.”
I know you are long gone, and just like the rest of the great souls, people came to appreciate your ideas and thoughts much later. I think you already knew that man always realizes the good he has neglected in his life, only after getting weary from chasing the bad.
Wherever you are, I hope you know some still believe in the magic of poetry and the charm of one’s existence. I hope you know that whenever we find ourselves happy with the ones we love, standing at the table to look at things in a different light and strong against the notions we rebel against, we remember-
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
With a rebellious soul,
A member of Dead Poets Society
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