Our Debt to the Enlightenment...
I think the thing I am most thankful for impact wise is the ability to question anything. To be able to ask questions about my environment, people, topics of all sorts… and not only be physically safe but have conversations and be able to form my opinions through study, observation and my own moral guidelines. Before the Enlightenment, as a woman, I didn’t have a lot of options for what I could do with my life. I might get more options if I was wealthy and had an understanding husband (because I would probably have had to have one to have continued to have more options), but those options would have necessarily been limited by the facts of percentages. After all, very few men were wealthy and as women could not own money or property with very few exceptions, only women married to wealthy and ‘tolerant men’ could have had more options for their lives. (And even then, their options were still limited in comparison to the options I now have for choices in my life.) At least once a week, I can have a conversation with a friend of family marriage on something difficult; gay marriage, human rights, universal health insurance, discrimination of women in the workplace, what is modesty, etc.... I enjoy them and I can have them and agree or disagree appropriately as I see fit and learn, think, and study out what was said. I would really feel like my life was incomplete with out that aspect of conversation in my life.
When you look at your life and look back at all the changes that came with that time frame, what are you most grateful for? What things changed that you don't see as benefits in your lives? What do you remember about the Enlightenment from your past classes? :)