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Socrates - Virtue, Wisdom, Enlightenment

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Virtue, Wisdom, Enlightenment

Socrates spoke of many qualities he believed to be important in humanity. He worked his entire life to spread wisdom, peace, wonder and knowledge to all those he met. Although this eventually led to his execution, he preached the important of morality and virtue right up to his death. It was the importance of being virtuous that and living a "good" life that Socrates felt was essential for humanity to flourish. Although largely missing in the most important places in our society (politics, pop culture, media) virtue in some sense can be found in the common citizen. Unfortunately it is commonly misinterpreted and totally misplaced but can still be considered virtue in the loosest sense. Socrates knew the importance of virtue in every individual and gave his life to prove this point.

Throughout the history of man, the most enlightened of us have strived to reach beyond ourselves. To understand the nature of the universe, and live in tune with it. All religions have this desire to achieve enlightenment at their core. Although it is usually completely overlooked and forgotten about, it is this sense that there is something more that we can achieve that drives the wisest of our society. Socrates knew this and was determined to spread his beliefs as far as possible. His commitment to this idea was strong and unwavering, proving just how much he valued the pursuit of wisdom and understanding. Socrates realized that nothing in this world was as valuable as an enlightened, open mind. He saw the need to teach this philosophy to all those he encountered and was determined to help all his fellow citizens grow and mature. The reason Socrates felt so strongly about his ideas was that he knew it was the most important part in building a peaceful, intelligent, and flourishing society. A civilization which values wisdom and virtue above all else encourages its citizens to better themselves mentally and morally, and would de-emphasize the importance of material possessions. By planting the seeds of wonder and commitment to greatness in all citizens a civilization would grow to be strong, smart and powerful.

To place importance on the feeble, trivial aspects of a society is to corrupt and weaken it. As history has proven, a society concerned with material possessions, and worldly positions of power is incapable of achieving greatness in the most important sense. What good are power, wealth, and land if it not used to better all mankind? These things cannot make people happy, no matter how much they have. There is always more to obtain, always something else to get. The rich are rarely content, and the poor continually long for riches. It is this endless cycle that Socrates was attempting to break. When people occupy their time and their minds with how they can gain more, they cannot be happy. If a man learns to accept life, enjoy it, and understand it as much as possible, then he can find joy in the smallest of things. It is not hard to be happy when you are content with yourself and do not worry about what you have, don't have, and want to have. These are the worries that most people let engulf their lives. The stress consumes them until they are nothing more than a tool, working for money just to spend money and have more things. It is a sad cycle that many spend their entire lives in, most without even realizing it. To see the beauty of the world, the first step is acceptance. The Acceptance of life, what you have, what you don't have, and more importantly what you don't need. Many people to this day live with no concept of possessions, money and class structure. They seek only what they need to survive, nothing more. These people are also the happiest and most content on the planet. If all you do is eat, hunt, make love and sleep then it is impossible not to enjoy living. That is the truest message of Socrates.

By his own admission Socrates is a philosopher. A title that is hard to define by conventional descriptions.



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