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The well-known linguist, activist and author Noam Chomsky is a person who I greatly admire. His work has influenced many people in many different fields, from linguistics to psychology to politics. Through all his many achievements he has still remained a humble and down to earth man, and I think this is one of the most important traits that anyone can have.
Chomsky has lived a relatively privileged life, being able to attend good schools and experience the great depression from a middle class position, but this has only allowed him to relate on a deeper level with a wide range of people from all walks of life. This is a very important and commendable trait in a person and something that I think more people should strive to achieve. Although I haven’t had the same kind of experiences as Chomsky, I work hard to remain down to earth and treat all people with the respect they deserve. It’s easy to get lost on your achievements and forget that others are not beneath you because they may not have the same education, money, or experiences. Noam Chomsky uses his platform to speak out against injustices against normal people. His many books on the subject of political activism, such as Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (with Edward S. Herman, 1988), and Profit over People (1998) have shone a light on American government policies and have promoted discussion among the people who are most affected by government and corporate policies. I think it’s important to use what resources we have to speak out on topics that are of importance, and I try to speak out whenever I see the opportunity, whether it is with friends or in structured debates.
He has used his voice to speak out against injustices in the world, and he has spoken loudly, but at times he has become so passionate about the cause he is speaking about that he has risked ruining his reputation and career. There are many instances where he has taken controversial opinions on different subjects and his true intent was misunderstood. He had nearly ruined his reputation in France due to his opinions on free speech. Being passionate about causes is a great way to get people mobilized to action, but it’s important to think through what is said and how others may interpret it.
Noam Chomsky is an amazing scholar, humanitarian and activist. He has contributed so much to so many different causes and has worked hard to understand, and help others understand how we as a society communicate and work together. He is someone who I work hard to emulate and strive to achieve the kind of recognition and awards that he has over his career.
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