Every person that we have met has had some influence on us and changed us in some way, even if that change consists solely of the knowledge that we know that person. And every person that we haven’t met has changed us, too, because by not meeting them we are different than the people we would have become if we had met them. Does that make sense?
In the same way Dostoyevsky has changed me, regardless of the fact that we are separated by distance and most importantly time. He had an influence on me as he’s had on millions of people through his books. And for that I am grateful he existed.
I first “met” him in the second year of high school when my literature teacher gave us an assignment to read Crime and Punishment. I was a reader when I was younger, but with growing up I kind of didn’t have the time for that. Dostoyevsky brought me back into the world of books and changed my life from that point on.
I have spent many sleepless nights reading his books and debating with myself about the ideas that were emerging from his stories. He has been like a spiritual guide to me. Very often I have found answers about things that happened to me or I saw in society or even about hypothetical situations, moral questions, and ideological dilemmas. He has taught me to think critically and presented me with ideas that I might have never discovered on my own. That’s what I like the most about his writings; his books are not manuals on how to live your life–they present you with ideas and you are left on your own to think them through, find out what is your opinion on the matter, or come up with a fresh viewpoint and build up your personality.
What if you would literally accept everything he wrote and not doubt it? What if you would accept everything your God is saying and not doubt it? What if you would accept everything the politicians are saying and not doubt it? Could you then say that you have a mind of your own? Could you say that you have a life of your own? The biggest respect you can show to a man is by doubting what he is saying and giving him a chance to explain it. That way you have shown interest in his opinion. You have given him a chance to change your mind. You have given a value to his thoughts. If we listened and accepted everything as it is served to us or discredited everything without even thinking it through, then we’d be living our lives blindly—we’d truly be alone. That’s why I have given Dostoyevsky a chance to change my mind, to change my life. That way I have shown respect to the man and his work.
So I am saying to those few who will read this article, don’t accept everything I`ve said as the plain truth. Doubt me. Give me arguments that I am not right. Prove to me that I`m missed something. Help me better my opinion. Help me become a better person. But don`t discredit me as if I don`t exist.
So when I was offered the opportunity to work with VM Productions on making Dostoyevsky`s books into movies, you can only guess how excited I was to help present his ideas to the modern world, to at least try to change people`s lives the way he has changed mine.
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