What is Enlightenment?

Being called enlightened alludes to the belief that someone is more knowledgeable about a topic than the majority of the community. This process is brought about when one begins to think for himself, therefore looking beyond how society sees things in order to create new thoughts and assumptions about how something is and what it might be/become. Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, defined Enlightenment as “man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage”. In this statement he expresses Enlightenment as thinking outside of the box in order to broaden ones mind and break away from the societal norms that they had been learning under since their birth. We understand that the process of enlightenment is necessary to progress in the global environment; I contend that Enlightenment has been an ongoing process that has been in motion since the dawn of man. How else (besides lucky discoveries) did people invent things without thinking “how can I make this tool better?”, and, at the root of it, isn’t that question the base of Enlightenment? Therefore, I believe, at its most basic point Enlightenment is the drive for a society to break out of its shell in search for methods that make the population’s lives easier by discovering new and improved tools and processes of getting things done.