Socrates believed that right insight leads to right action, this means that our judgment in choosing right over wrong causes us to do good. He says that our actions should be based from our reason and that ignorance causes us to think wrongly and in turn will make us do evil. We must conquer our ignorance if we want to do good in order to achieve our end goal, to have a happy life. A happy life is understanding what life really is, doing what is apt and conquering ignorance.
Socrates’ philosophy has a big impact in my life. I know that I am still so ignorant about a lot of things. Even simple things like locating places in Cagayan de Oro and so many more. This bothers me so much… it hinders me from being happy. It makes me uncertain of my direction in life. I am quite uncertain of my future, I am so afraid to move forward because I don’t know what I’m going to leave behind. I don’t want to go to college because I am afraid of what it would be like, I am ignorant of college life and besides, it also means that soon, ill be graduating and I then will be leaving my family because if God permits, I would be working abroad, that has always been my dream.
But Socrates said that ignorance hinders us from doing good… then I realized, I’m afraid not because by the thought of being away from my family, but because I don’t know what to do in college, moreover, I don’t have any idea on what life would be when I will soon be independent. I guess I am too spoon-fed by my family that I usually depend on their decisions and not on mine alone. I hate my ignorance; it thwarts my happiness, which is for me, one of my priorities that have to be achieved in my life.
PLATO believed that reality is of two realms; the world of senses and the world of ideas. The world of senses is the material world, it is changing and there is incomplete knowledge. The world of ideas, on the other hand is the permanent world. Our soul belongs to this world; there is perfect knowledge of truth. I believe in souls, I believe that we are all souls and our bodies are only shelters. Plato believed that truth is difficult to understand because we fail to see that there are things that are really true. We don’t use our minds. Just like Socrates, we fail to see the truth of something because of our ignorance.
Many of us are materialist, I, oftentimes are. I see things by its appearance but not by its deeper meaning. There was a time when I encountered someone, who today, became one of my closest friends. I did not really like her at first because she looked, not really bad, but sort of untidy and at first I found her so annoying. I hated the mere sight of her but then, it just happened, I was given an opportunity to actually know that girl, and found out we have a lot in common….
In that situation, I was trapped in the world of senses, I judged her by her looks which was not very attractive, yet, her real self is stunning. Compared to a time I tried to befriend someone who looked so pretty, physically. However, I only ended up as her follower and I did not like it. The situation I once encountered is similar to the saying “foul is fair, fair is foul”. From that experience, I realized what Plato was saying “the Idea of something is more real than the appearance of something”. He was referring to the inner beauty of something is far more important than its physical features. Plato’s philosophy affected my life in such a way that I don’t judge a book by its cover; I don’t judge people through their appearance or status. Rather than, I first look into their real self, if they have good hearts, then, no problem.
I can relate Arristipus’ Epicureanism in my life. Though I may contradict a lot of their belief, I would just like to point out some of the things the Epicurus believed that I too do. Pleasure to the max is slightly similar to my motto two years ago which is “Live life to the fullest for the future is scarce”. The future is uncertain, for the time being, you only have the present, therefore, we must make the most out of the now. But I don’t mean living life to the fullest includes vices, I limit my motto to making my life exciting in a good sense. And it works! I have lots of joyful memories during my childhood years and even until now. The second thing I like about the philosophy of these people is about the four medicinal herbs, particularly about “death is nothing to be feared”.
I believe that death is a natural occurrence; it is there for a purpose, to regulate life on earth. Why fear death? When we are alive, death is not present, when we are dead, then better… death will not come back. But why do we fear to die? I made my own reflecting and I came up with an answer… it is the process of dying which is frightening, not death. The uncertainty of how we die, how great the pain we have to go through before we pass away, is the main thing that make us fear. Another thing would be the fear of leaving behind your loved ones. Like when a mother still has dependent children to care for, the mother fears death because she worries about the future of her kids if she will die.
I can relate this to the situation when I was in elementary. My mother was in manila, undergoing several operations, she told me that she almost gave up and nearly died, but she thought about what would happen to me if she no longer is there, and found the courage to fight. Whenever she tells me that I’m her only reason why she is still around, why she still works, I often get teary-eyed… I hate to think that death is unpredictable… I don’t want to see another member of my family pass away, to tell you the truth, I don’t fear death. In fact, I would stand first in line to save my family, I could not bear to see my loved-ones pass. I know I’m being unfair. I know I am wrong; this is one ignorance I find hard to rid off.