Updated: Jan 20
"For instances, the most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist, and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, 'Follow your heart.' But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day."
- Yuval Noah Harari
It's quite astonishing how Yuval Noah Harari was able to condense the whole history of our species into a 466-page book. This book gives us a whole overview of the evaluation of our species - Homo Sapiens. He only included topics that were absolutely needed to answer the biggest questions in history.
This is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone because it will really give the reader more comprehensive knowledge of our ancestors.
The topic that really intrigued me the most was how a woman was treated in the past. They were simply acknowledged as the property of men. Raping a woman who did not "belong" to a man was not even considered a crime. Killing a woman was worth less than injuring a man. Ultimately, if a nobleman kills another nobleman's daughter, the murderer's daughter needs to pay for the crime.
While growing up, I was always angry at my mom for not being strong enough. I was angry that she was never able to voice her opinion. After looking at our history, I can understand her a little better now, and how grateful I should be to have a mother who always let me voice my opinion.
Another important part of the book that captivated my attention was the topic of "following your heart". As a woman growing up in Canada, who was immersed in Western culture that puts a high emphasis on love and emotion, this book really helped me recognize what our society was doing to us. Majority of the movies I've watched growing up romanticized about "finding true love", "following your heart", and "following your calling". Now, I realized that maybe sometimes it's best to first analyze and understand where these "callings" are coming from before you go on and wrack yourself. Sometimes these "callings" are very important, but if these are just based on a meme you saw on social media... maybe you should hold off on that idea for now...