The Athenian (now Greece) Philosopher Socrates is someone whose work and wise sayings has influenced and keeps influencing many individuals of today and yesteryears.
Socrates is a man who became the wisest of Athen just by declaring he knew nothing. Thus, He went ahead to propose questions all of the time assuming he had no idea about the answer. Probably the best way one can learn anything.
Nonetheless, as a prominent man of his stature. He left behind quotes attributed to him that will make you see the world in a different way. Some of which will be the mainstay of this essay.
7 Socrates Wise Sayings Which Makes You See The World In A Way Like Never
1. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for. – Socrates
Our ancestors strived verily to understand the things which encompassed their daily living activities. From both natural and unnatural things. Their existential life problems, they tried also to make sense out of. Though they made significant strides towards that.
Even though death is inevitable, a lot of people have found their demise in the pursuit of improvement.
The living are also growing old with their ideas, most which some have put together in books or writings. The same way young people take pride in following the footsteps of older people and mimicking them to find themselves.
Socrates in this quote is calling upon us to have the zeal of pursuit in other long-standing writings if we indeed want to get to where they strived to get to, easily. One can do this by diving into the writings of people of old.
For the things that plague us today, they went through and for one to understand well the journey to a destination, He must seek advice from someone who has been there before. This will not only make you smart but a step ahead of everyone and ahead of yourself in life.
2. True wisdom comes to each of us when we realise how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us. – Socrates
If everyone knew everything, then there wouldn’t have been any need for school and neither will there be education. The school of life is also a complex which we still haven’t understood everything yet.
The fact that we are always on the field trying to figure out how something explains the fact that we know we don’t know everything.
Only in surrendering to this do we make a way forward to understanding.
This is the notion Socrates brings to bear in the above quote. For us to be wise, we first have to understand that we are actually dumb and that we don’t really know everything. And in this starting point do we get to begin to gain wisdom about anything.
3. He who is not content with what he has, will not be content with what he would like to have. – Socrates
Human beings are craving organisms, we never get to a point where we think we don’t need anything anymore. The more we get the more we aspire for more. But the question is, is more going to make you happy or content?
What happens if the things in your presence right now don’t satisfy you? Will the things you wish to have do it? Socrates will respond by saying No.
And His reason will be If you don’t like what is in front of your eyes now. There is no way the things you want will. Even if they will. How long will it take for pleasure-seeking to set in? And you are grounded back to zero.
It doesn’t really matter what you are getting. You probably wished for something of that type and you now have it. If the value of it is not showing now then forget it. The things you want will never do. Find solace is what you have now and be grateful for it.
4. Let him that will move the world, first move himself. – Socrates
We have seen countless number of people countless times aspiring to change the world. People are ready to die in order to hold a position even if they don’t live after. The motives of which are numerous beyond count. But how many of these do we see actually get there and don’t get corrupt? How many don’t give up? and how many become desperate to the realization that they really cannot cause the change they so dearly want?
To Socrates, your value system is the most important determiner of how you can move the world. How do you see yourself? How have you tried to rule yourself first? Did it work or not. It’s obvious that people that have their acts together in honesty, truthfulness, respect can rise up. And not self-centred dishonest and egoistic people.
The next time you think about moving the world. Ask yourself, am I of the standard to not be corrupt? And can I stay on the truthful path if I am being tempted? A yes to this might be that you are indeed ready to try. A no means don’t venture.
5. We cannot live better than in seeking to become better. – Socrates
What does it mean to live a better life? It probably might be different to each one of us. But to me, it’s having a life that everything is in sync. Where you don’t worry about anything.
The road to this destination is not so an easy one. We all understand that everyone’s life is full of problems on a daily basis. So a better life is work that needs to be done. In doing so, one has to ensure that you improve on your flaws each and every day.
You have to identify the things that make you not leave a better life and find ways to prune yourself down to a better life. This journey Socrates will say to live a better life you have to become better and becoming better means your life is getting better.
6. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and weak minds discuss people. – Socrates
It turns out that it’s very easy to categorise people based on what they do and say.
Socrates in his quotes is drawing our attention to the fact that people who are more concerned about expanding their ideas by roping in others into the conversation are people with strong minds.
People who discuss other people’s matters, that may not be of concern to them are weak minds. The intermediary is those that are concerned with events that have already happened, whom he referred to as average minds.
From Socrates’ perspective, it’s better to be a strong mind. Thus, discuss ideas and extend your knowledge beyond who you are and what you know right now.
7. Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual. – Socrates
The debate between seeking knowledge and wealth is a tedious one in the sense that one cannot achieve one without the other. A little disadvantage on the wealth aspect. For people can obtain knowledge without wealth.
But according to Socrates wealth can move from hands to hands on the other hand If you handle money badly it will move from you to another. But in the case of knowledge, even though it’s not stationary. It can be transferred from one person to another and stays with you anytime you need it.
From the quotes above we can boil down everything to seven(7) take away points which are:
- Improve yourself by reading other people’s work.
- Understand you don’t really know anything in order to know something.
- Be content with what is in front of you right now.
- If you want to change the world, start by changing yourself
- Seek to become better in order to live a better life.
- Be strong mind, and in that sense discuss ideas
- Seek knowledge in every way you can.
To conclude, seek wisdom from those that have lived here before and don’t be selfish to share it with others as well. Interested in reading more quotes? We have a directory for all our quotes.