The courage of wisdom!!!The courage of wisdom!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today’s mental workout for Superhero Tuesdays immortalizes a man who gave up his life for freedom. Since the dawn of modern civilization, nobody ever made the impact that Socrates did without ever writing down a single word except for Christ himself. There’s doubts about Christ, but there is no debate that Socrates was the most intelligent man of his generation. He is the father of Western philosophy as we know it today although his predecessor Thales was the founder. The humility of Socrates was that he felt he was wise because he understood he knew nothing. To Socrates, true ignorance was those who professed to know things that they possibly could not know. In his view knowledge and wisdom are to be treated like two separate entities. After all just because somebody has supreme knowledge in one discipline whatever that entails, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were wise. I am sure you can attest to that experience of people thinking they know absolutely everything there is to know about a particular subject, but you wouldn’t necessarily consider such people individuals of wisdom. Definition of wisdom implies that you possibly couldn’t know everything, wisdom is infinite. The truly wise person comprehends that there is much more to be known by any one individual. In other words accepting that one is ignorant is the first step to wisdom.

Socrates led a movement that was instrumental in shaping the young minds of the ruling parties at a time when intellectual discipline was in decline. There’s a reason children are the future, it’s hoped that they would adopt more thinking philosophies as opposed to the more warlike aggressive tendencies. Greece enjoyed the golden age of enlightenment thanks to Socrates and his vast influence. While man’s natural inclination is to copy and imitate, Socrates emphasized original thought and new ideas to challenge the status quo. He understood how success in life should be more dependent on individual merit and ability as opposed to social origin and class. Socrates knew it was imperative to allow those of lesser financial means an opportunity for advancement. Many people are unaware that Socrates had also been a soldier as was common in those days fighting in the Peloponnesian wars. He fought courageously and endured harsh conditions, acquitting himself very well indeed. He however did not aspire to any elevated military rank probably because of his philosophical viewpoints. Socrates would rather ask the simple questions about war. Was it really necessary. Socrates loved to hold open debates discussing the concept of knowledge, virtue and courage. Socrates had no peer in debate and developed a reputation for taking down so called academics a notch or two.

Socrates took the definition of real courage to an unbelievable level. The fact that a man would risk his own life for the sake of asking questions of humanity is remarkable and very rare indeed. He literally gave his life for the ideal of freedom that’s inherent in birth into this universe and not the promise of the state. Socrates was as genuine as they come, he never took any money for his teachings. He was genuinely concerned with the lost generation of the youth at the time. It was widely accepted at his time that the fathers of his generation had failed to impart knowledge and virtue unto the next generation. There was a noticeable turning point that the young generation lacked the courage and artistic intelligence of their forefathers. Socrates was disappointed that not only had mediocrity set in, but it had also come to be accepted. Socrates was the visionary of modern generations as he realized the far reaching consequencies of people acting and making important decisions based on insufficient knowledge, whereby translating into lack of wisdom. Socrates understood the importance of having the courage to ask questions. The sum total of human existence through generations should be characterized and measured by the ability and the courage to ask questions. Today's mental workout is to have the courage to ask questions of the world around you, there's certainly no shortage of options. Even before we look for answers, we must have the courage to ask the right questions first. As always, make it an inquisitive mental workout.

Comments

I think in light of

I think in light of everything going on all over the world, we all could use some more courage.

So perceptive, it's a shame

So perceptive, it's a shame how courage goes missing in our society.