Do you think often enough? Plato wants to know.

Throughout Plato’s writings, often misinterpreted as the sayings of Socrates because, especially in the early dialogues, Plato used Socrates as his voice in the majority of the Platonic Dialogues. For the purpose of this post, I’ll refer to Plato because he was the author of Socrates’ words. Of course, it is well known that these Dialogues were written long after the actual conversation, or dialogue, actually occurred. It seems logical to conclude that they constitute Plato’s best use of the actual conversation he recalls to convey the desired philosophical message or lesson.

Think More!

One of the first things Plato suggests we do as part of living a good life is to Think More. I find it ironic how we put so much work into preparing for almost everything we do so that we do them well. And that is as it should be. However, perhaps sadly, we rarely devote the time to think about us. Time for thinking about whether our ideas are based on the sound application of reason or whether we simply are “going with the flow.” In this, Plato seems to be referring, if he were writing today, to those things society places in high regard like celebrities or high-profile athletes. Not to suggest these people cannot be excellent role models and there are many, many of them, but there are too many that are not. It may seem as if they represent the majority. It is merely what the mainstream media elects to show us for ratings, though the good examples are far more common.

Get to Know Thyself. How? Subject yourself to critical examination.

Rather than simply going with the flow Plato suggests that we must devote time to KNOW THYSELF. In order to get to know ourselves, as Plato suggests, we must spend time proactively thinking about the decisions we make in our daily lives. This will, dare I say it, require us to unplug and focus on ourselves. Analyze our decisions as one might analyze their big presentation at work. Being happy is more important than any presentation and knowing yourself will actually improve your work, but how many of us spend even a few moments to get to know ourselves? Much less spend the time and effort to do so.

Form the Habit – Make the Effort

If we proactively make the effort to strengthen our self-knowledge we are not easily influenced by what our current culture thrusts upon us, which is so often intended to be sensational and create an emotional pull on us. Rather, we must actually make a decision as an act of your will to stop and subject ourselves and our ideas to a critical self-examination. Of course this can be done with another person, but it is not necessary. We can have a Socratic discussion with ourselves. In order to truly “AND bold know thyself”, we must stop and think more.

No matter how it’s done, the important thing is that it is done. Like anything, to make a real difference and become a part of us we must make it a habit. Actually engage in self-examination to make sure to examine the ideas and ensure sound reasoning is behind the decisions we make; and do so on a consistent basis until you no longer even notice it any longer. Easier said than done, but I shall try and hope you will as well.

Happy thinking…

Advertisements

Published by

ThinkFarris

Hello! I'm Kevin. Recently retired from practicing law for 20 years - literally bad for my health. Now making a go of it by writing, which I've long wanted to do but never had the time. Now I am just another person trying to take the upheavals in life as stoically as I can and sharing my thoughts with people like you. Originally this space was set up to write about applied Philosophy, but as the archives show, I did not write frequently. In hopes that I will post more often, I am expanding the subject matter to include any of my varied interests, one of which is politics. That was my undergraduate Minor and has remained a passion to this day. Given the controversial 2016 election, I felt compelled to start writing again. I realize politics may alienate many people, but I will write in a fair-minded way that should not offend anyone and hopefully promotes a friendly discourse and true exchange of ideas. All of us have fallen into echo-chambers so we only hear opinions that reinforce our own beliefs. When that happens you never really hear other points of view and your ideas will not be challenged what the other side is saying and you have gridlock. Feel free to push back and challenge my ideas, preferably in a respectful way and I will do the same to ideas I disagree with. As long as the dialogue maintains appropriate civility and decorum, I look forward to having my ideas challenged and perhaps both may be better for having engaged in the dialogue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s