Socrates, the Greek philosopher who was sentenced to death for ‘corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens’ and later appreciated as one of the greatest philosophers of all time, said a lot worth your time.
Socrates who was born in 470 BC in Alopece, Greece was made known to the world by Plato’s works. His works like Apology and Symposium made Socrates the master of ancient philosophy.
Socrates questioned a lot of ideas that were popularly believed in the recently defeated Athens. The Spartan kingdom had defeated Athens in a battle and Socrates praised Sparta. He questioned the status-quo in Athens back then. IT is believed that his attempts to trigger the sense of justice and thinking in the people of Athens led to his execution.
Later, until today, Socrates is regarded as a genius who questioned what was blindly accepted.
These 10 quotes by Socrates will make you see what the man was made of and inspire you to step out of your comfort zones and do something that you always wanted to do!
1. “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Imagine a bull. See how it keeps walking on the road without really paying attention to what is going around him? We aren’t bulls. We are humans. And an eye for observation, self-examination only will lead to discovering what we are truly capable of.
2. “The greatest way to live with honour in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
It has somehow seeped in into human civilisation – the idea of putting on different masks to conceal the real self. Do you know where this idea stems from? Fear. The fear that someone would read you and know your vulnerabilities and use them against you. But has that ever prevented people from harming others?
3. “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.”
Just like there comes ego with earning a lot of wealth, there also comes ego with thinking that you are a know-it-all. Someone who knows more than the others. But Socrates says, it is wise to know that you know nothing. For there are unimaginable things in the universe that man has no idea about. It is futile to pride over limited knowledge. It is futile to pride at all.
4. “Wisdom begins in wonder.”
Some of the greatest inventors of the world first wondered if something that they later created would exist. Some of the greatest thinkers of the world could tap into human conscience after wondering about what we were capable of. So wonder, to be wise, says Socrates.
5. “A honest man is always a child.”
When we grow, we become more sly. Our honesty begins to slip away, sometimes unknowingly and lying begins to become a usual part of our day. Socrates says, a honest man is always a child. Transparent, easy-going and happy.
6. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
Most of us find escapism in being busy. We think that being busy will help us divert attention from things that we don’t want to think about. This leads to piling up of emotions that we leave unaddressed. A machine is also busy. So is a bee. Are you one of those?
7. “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
This one is a witty one. But by all means, take chances!
8. “It is not living that matters, but living rightly.”
We go about our lives like we are just surviving, no matter how many ‘wrong’ acts we do and harm our soul. Your conscience decides what is wrong and what is right. Listen to it.
9. “Let him that would move the world, first move himself.”
Change begins at home. Some people talk about changing the world, but they are unwilling to first change themselves.
10. “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured for.”
Every person in the world goes through different experiences. Learning from the experiences of others is a luxury we have because of books! Socrates says to learn the treasure of knowledge from these writings.
Indeed, Socrates was a genius. Wasn’t he?
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