Monday, 30 May 2016

Wisdom and Bravery

 The quality of our life is a product of our choices. The environment we live in, the people we associate with and our happiness depends on our decisions. A different person in our place might be more happy or more successful than us; or he might had given up or never achieved half the things we did, due to choosing another path. But, what would help us take the best decisions possible and enjoy the maximum benefits from life? What can ensue that we choose correctly and right? A certain kind of knowledge, that is called wisdom.
 Wisdom was defined by Socrates, as the knowledge or the ability to distinguish between good and bad. But how can one separate how much good and bad something is? The answer can be found in the word of Christ, that even if you don't believe in his divine nature, the fact remains that he was a great historic figure that created one of the biggest religions and so the wisdom of his words cannot be ignored. He says on Matthew 7:15 that ''they come to you in sheep's clothing, but inward they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?'' and on Luke 6:44 '' No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Indeed, people do not gather figs from thornbushes, or grapes from brambles''. The meaning of these words is that one can recognize how good something is, by its results and not by what it appears to be. A lot of things or people, even though they appear to be good, they are not in reality, for they may end up hurting you or do bad things.
 But what is the most important thing, one should make sure nothing bad happens to it? If one has read my previous article at ( he will realize that this is his soul. That is because his soul is immortal and also, it is what the person truly is! Of course from logic stems the question, how can someone hurts his soul or take care of it? Christ gives again the answer to it in Mark 7:15-16 ''Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes of a person that defiles them''. The meaning of this, is that nothing on our environment (outside of us) can truly harm us (by going inside us), for they cannot affect our soul, but they only affect our property or our body and these matters not in comparison with our soul! Also the only thing that can ''defile'' the person, meaning his soul, is himself, by what comes out of him or simply said, his actions. Here, you should note that you are not just a body, but an immortal soul and your body is just a ''possession'' you have. And so you are safe, for nothing, but you, can hurt yourself, meaning your soul which is what really matters. That is the reason, Socrates states in Plato's' book Gorgias, said that it is better to be wronged, than to wrong someone else. Therefore, that explains why it is important to be wise! So that you may abstain from making any bad deeds or decisions and in the process hurt your soul and furthermore act accordingly, so that you may elevate your soul, through good and fair actions. Of course, the benefits one enjoys from being wise extend beyond this philosophical argument into real life. There, by being able to separate what is good and bad, not only you can live a just life, but also you can improve your environment, you can help your fellow humans and live happier. Plus wisdom, will result in the better management of the goods you already possess. For example, what would be the value of money in our lives, if we were to spend it all on drugs and destroy our health? Would meeting our soulmate make us happy, if we were unable to have a stable relationship? The answer is obvious. So what we require in life in not just goods, but also the knowledge of how to properly manage them! If one thinks that i am exaggerating, he only has to look at the divorce rate.
 But then, a true philosopher would ask ''what is truly good and bad?''. Well, as stated previously one may distinguish good from bad, by their ''fruit'', or simply explained their results. If an action is based on love and you believe that it will benefit your soul and help someone else, then you should do it. But, if deep down you know, that you only wish to make such an action because you want to satisfy your desires, or it is in no one's benefit and most of all, that it will not elevate your soul, then simply do not do it. So, before one should take any action, he should pause to wonder, is his action going to benefit his soul, for his soul is the most important of all. Obviously, what elevates one's soul, are the actions that stems from emotions like love and compassion or deeds that are based on kindness and are intended to help others. On the other hand, one can hurt his soul by giving into his lustful desires and negative emotions and of course by hurting another person. A great advise it to never take any decisions when you are angry or in a bad emotional state.
 Then, one justifiably can ask, how do i become wise, how do i learn to separate good from bad? Well, this article do provide some clues, as do my other articles, but i strongly recommend to the one who wishes to pursue further, to read about Plato's philosophy, especially his book Republic. In addition, he should follow Christs teaching about unconditional love, even for his enemies and the ones who hurt him and read the preachings of Buddha. But i believe, no matter how difficult a decision may be or how impossible it seems to separate good from wrong, if his actions are based on kindness, then he will not falter.
 Sadly, usually the wrong decision in life is also the easy one, while the path of justice is hard. That is the reason why Socrates defined as the brave man, the one who follows what is right, no matter how difficult the road may be. So, if one wishes to rise and make a difference, then he has to stand for what is right no matter the cost. Because, by walking the right path, even though it might lead him to unpleasant situations, it will certainly elevate his soul and make him a better character. As Christ said on Matthew 7:14 ''For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it''.

                                                                                Andreas Sarchosis

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