Not only is Plato known as being the founder of the first institute for higher education, but he was also an incredibly smart guy.
He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition. Unlike nearly all of his philosophical contemporaries, Plato’s entire work is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years
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He lived his life with purpose and many still look to his writings and teachings as a way to manage their own lives.
Although we live very different ways of life than Plato did, a lot of what he had to stay still applies to what we all long for: to be happier and more content in our day-to-day living.
Here are 8 lessons from Plato that can make you wiser.
1) Kindness is Key
Sometimes it’s hard to know whether someone is being nice to you because they mean it or because they need something from you in return.
Plato encourages us to look past that exterior motive and be kind anyway, even if it doesn’t get us anywhere.
2) Think Before You Speak
With so many opportunities to voice your opinions online and in public these days, it can be difficult to just sit with your own thoughts.
Plato reminds us that we should only speak when it is of benefit, and not just to toot our own horns.
3) Play Fair
Competition is a good way to see how people react when the stakes are high. Adding competition to a situation can bring out the best or worst in people.
If you want to know what someone is really like, get them to play a game with you. Plato reminds us that this applies to us as well; we need to be aware of our competitive side when engaging with others.
4) Just Start
Humans put off doing good in the world, doing good for themselves and losing opportunities left, right, and center because they never start.
Fear stands in the way for most, but Plato encourages us to just get our hands dirty and see what transpires. Even if we fail, at least we know the outcome. Never starting doesn’t teach us anything.
5) Participate in the Future of Your Country
This doesn’t just apply to political voting arenas, but also other areas of our lives where we spend time complaining and not taking action.
Plato reminds us that we need to stand up for what we want and make sure our voice is heard when something is important to us.
6) Do Good Things
Making the world a better place is not hard. We just have to get out of our own way and treat each other better.
Doing good things for others will make you feel good, and can encourage others to act in a similar manner. Doing it once is not enough, though. We need to be consistent.
7) Use Your Powers for Good
Everyone has something to share with the world, even if you think you don’t.
There is something inside all of us that the world needs. Some of us choose to work in service of others, while some of us choose to claw our way to the top of the corporate ladder.
Whatever your power is, use it to make the world a better place.
8) Keep Educating Yourself
Life is full of amazing things to learn. Don’t cut yourself off from all the things that are out there just waiting to be consumed and understood by you.
Education makes life better; not just formal education, but the interest in learning new things can make you happier, smarter, and a better person.
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