Friday, August 8, 2008

Socrates on Education

In Maine, in a little lobster shack close to the Isle Au Haut, they had the following passage framed and on the wall as reading material for meditation between the cracking of claws and sucking of meat out of lobster limbs. I was ecstatic to finally find it online:

"Whom then, do I call educated?

First, those who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise, and rarely misses the expedient course of action;

Next, those who are decent and honorable in their intercourse with all men, bearing easily and good naturedly that which is unpleasant or offensive in others, and being themselves as agreeable and reasonable to their associates as is humanly possible to be;

Furthermore, those who hold their pleasures always under control, and are not unduly overcome by their misfortunes, bearing up under them bravely and in a manner worthy of our common nature;

Finally, and most important of all are those who are not spoiled by their successes, and do not desert their true selves, but hold their ground steadfastly, as wise and sober minded men, rejoicing no more in the good things which have come to them through chance than in those which through their own nature and intelligence are theirs since birth.

Those who have a character which is in accord, not with one of these things, but with all of them, these I maintain are educated and whole men, possessed of all the virtues of a man."

Socrates (470-399 BC)

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