Richard Stallman in Prague: Unyielding Spirit Amidst Health Challenges
Posted on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 by Lubos Rendek — No comments
An Emblematic Appearance
The Free Software community witnessed a blend of resilience and unwavering dedication as Richard Stallman made a memorable appearance at the Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis 2023 in Prague on October 1, 2023. Despite battling a severe health condition, Stallman's presence at the congress underscored his enduring commitment to the Free Software ideology.
A Resilient Stance amidst Health Trials
Stallman's current health challenge, a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has brought about physical changes, yet it hasn't dampened his spirit nor diluted his message. Adhering to health protocols to safeguard his compromised immune system, both Stallman and attendees donned masks during the event. Despite his altered appearance, Stallman's identity shone through once he commenced speaking, his words resonating with the essence of Free Software advocacy that has defined his long-standing career.
Profound Words in Prague
During his address at the congress, Stallman shared a reflective and heartfelt message. He urged attendees to shift their admiration from him to the principles of justice and truth, underscoring the perennial value of these ideals over transient human endeavors. His words echoed through the hall:
Would you mind that a few of us took a bow for you?
Yeah, I would, it would be bad for me. Nowadays I get tremendous amounts of irrational, misguided hatred, but I still get tremendous amounts of perhaps excessive admiration. I've learned to resist some of that influence. And I guess I need to keep practicing. It's true. But it's also good for you. Instead of admiring me too much, admire good, justice, truth. Those are the things that are bigger than me. And they are good to admire.
Recently you got cancelled, maybe you can talk a little bit about that..
I don't want to go into the details of that but there is a website called stallmansupport.org that refutes many of the false parts of what people say about me. That site is not written by me.
- Richard Stallman
The Backdrop: A Sombre Health Revelation
The backdrop to his Prague appearance was a recent disclosure about his health during the 40th anniversary celebration of the GNU Project in Switzerland. His battle with cancer has been a somber revelation to the community, yet his ability to transcend personal adversity and continue advocating for Free Software is a testament to his unwavering dedication.
Community Outpour: A Testament to Stallman’s Legacy
His candid disclosure and continued advocacy amidst health challenges have sparked a wave of concern and well-wishes across the global Free Software community, reaffirming the monumental impact Stallman has had over the decades. The overwhelming support he has received reflects the deep respect and admiration he commands within the community.
Reflections on Resilience and Dedication
Stallman's enduring spirit amidst adversity is not only a display of personal resilience but also a beacon of inspiration for many in the Free Software community. His situation accentuates the unpredictable nature of life and the unrelenting spirit of individuals who champion noble ideologies even when faced with life's sternest tests. The hope now resonates within the community for Stallman's swift recovery and his continued influence in a movement he has passionately championed for nearly four decades.