Ján Markoš

    is a writer, chess grandmaster and trainer in critical thinking. He is the author of a bestselling manual of critical thinking published in 2019, Sila rozumu v bláznivej dobe (The Power of Reason in a Crazy Time). The following year he published Medzi dobrom a zlom (Between Good and Evil), a book on ethical dilemmas, followed this year by Bližšie k sebe (Closer to One Another). In 2018 the English Chess Federation awarded him the Book of the Year Award for Pod hladinou: 33 kapitol o tajomstvách šachu (Under the Surface). In 2020 he co-wrote the book Tajná přísada (The Secret Ingredient) with the best chess player in the Czech Republic, David Navara. “When the sun sets, it is not our job to stop it. Because the sunset can’t be stopped.
    There is, however, something else we can do: we can share what light is left. We can go through our pockets and rummage through our house in search of anything that will reflect at least a tiny bit of the sun’s rays. A pocket mirror. A lens from a pair of spectacles. The shiny back of a mobile. A rustproof pot.
    We can capture the red glow of the sun on the horizon and direct it towards the darkness where we sense the presence of another human being: towards the face of a friend, a neighbour, a passer-by, in the hope that the one in whose direction we’ve sent the light will search their own pockets for some shiny object, an improvised mirror that will enable them to pass on the light.
    I envisage it as a kind of magic laser show on a late autumn evening. People out in the gathering darkness and November fog, friends and strangers alike, united by a ray of sunshine reflected many times. I also imagine that somehow – maybe by a lucky coincidence – the ray will find its way back to the first person to have sent it out, thus closing the circle of light.
    And then, once the sun has disappeared behind the horizon, the darkness that falls won’t be total. The ray of sunshine trapped among people will keep circulating like a perpetuum mobile, lighting up the dark of the night. It will never get tired or exhausted: for how could light be exhausted?
    It will only grow pale in the morning, once the sun has come out and there is enough radiance around. And the sun will come out, believe you me. Because there is no way of preventing the coming of dawn either.”
    Photo: Denník N