“The unexamined life is not worth living”
Socrates was admired by many, and seen as the smartest wisest man in Greece. Even though He was eventually forced to death for his wisdom; his words will live with us forever. His most famous words "the unexamined life is not worth living". Socrates felt that if he was unable to examine life, he would not be really living. To Socrates, living meant being able to question the world around him. I believe that living an examined life is crucial to having a successful life. Living an examined life are people who think about where they've been, how they got here, and where they're going, are much happier people.
Examining your life means thinking about what happened in the past, the present and what's going to happen in the future has for you. Focusing on an issue in someone's life are examinations. When a person decides what they like, or dislike and, whether they want to live or not are all also examples of examination of life and life's events. If no one went without the examination of life there would be no worth to life. Worth means the quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable. People have to really sit down and examine their lives to decide if their lives are worth it living. Actively examining life is also what sets us apart from humans and animal world, and contemplation is what makes us human. It is impossible for a human being to go through life without examining it. On some level to be alive is to be conscious. To be conscious is to examine the world around you. Without examining the world, we would be zombies.
Examining your life brings tremendous freedom. There are many things that give people the impression that their lives are worth living. It could be pleasure and self- gratification, distractions and entertainments, sports and physical stamina, power and wealth, possessions and security, social recognition and success, the prospect of another life, knowledge and every other imaginable thing that promises at least a grain of happiness. A sophist means a wise person, someone who possessed Sophia, that is wisdom or understanding. Plato describes the sophist as “teachers of wisdom who appear to understand what they teach, but in reality have little or no understanding”(Socrates; a life examined.167). Those sophists would stick to what they think they knew but Socrates always left room for doubt. The best example of the point Socrates was trying to make can be understood from Plato's “Allegory of the cave”. The man wanted to get out of the cave, to truly live, and to live a worthy life, one has to examine, discover, and understand the shadows for the real meanings of the outside world, and the people in his society. Besides, one has to patient enough to listen to other because the things that we know are just like a drop in the ocean as Socrates, one said, "The only thing I know is I know nothing." Besides, when we examine our lives, we learn from our mistakes. when one examines the society that he lives in, it is not just helps him gain the knowledge, but it also changes his way of thought about things in order to make him become more rational and worth living.
What Socrates is implying is that “if someone decides not to discover themselves and attempts to focus more on material interest and the acquisition of personal power, one is capable of abusing this power to an extent where it may result in havoc and possibly the destruction of those who occupy the state, either emotionally or physically and all as a result of decisions that were not taken into consideration before being applied. "(Malden).What I was able to grasp from this quote that
Socrates phrased is that one has the wisdom to accomplish anything in one's personal life, but one should able to find our soul and locate the wisdom that one contains inside the mind before one attempts to reach personal obstacles in life.
Why should we examine our lives? Why should we not just simply go with the flow? Because Everyone knows that ignorance is bliss. Everyone wants to take the easier way in life. The ignorance Doesn't exist in humans, but in animals it does. If we lived an unexamined life it's like we'd be living like Animals. As humans we will always be able to think because we have a strong spiritual connection to the soul. To separate us from the animals we have to use the Socratic ideal of “know thyself” Which is all about the concept of existence. Animals just simply exist without developing itself in order to truly exist, you have to truly know yourself, know what you want, your needs, and understand your desires and your fears. To not examine or question one's life is to risk misunderstanding one's self in relation to the world. To not have critical thinking, and to remain oblivious to your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and to be a passive receiver of experience, instead of an active interpreter of experience. Socrates said
“The relationship between knowledge and virtue is such that neither can be conceived in the absence of the other. To know what is good is to do what is good. Ignorance and evil are aspects of one and the same reality”( Socrates: a life examined.182). This quote means that if you don't search for wisdom nothing else can be understood in the world. If we choose to be ignorant and not know our true selves then how can we make sense of the world around us.
To get what you want out of life the simple thing to do is sit down and really think about what I want. When I was younger I didn't give much thought as to what I wanted to do with my life. At that time it seemed unnecessary and unimportant to me. Parents play an important role in life, and that's to help guide their kids to the right directions and help them find themselves at a young age and help them figure out what they really want. But as I got older I had to ask myself what did I love to? Which career I wanted to get into, if I didn't ask myself these questions I would be wondering in life aimlessly. If their isn't inquiries in life, and knowledge to be gained out of life than most people are doomed for a miserable life. What good is life if there's no pursuit of knowledge? Socrates believed an examined life has more value because no one should live in ignorance.
I believe that people need to express themselves, they need to be understood, and without examining yourself people would have a sense of invisibility, and alienation. The good news is that it's never too late to start examining your life. Even though the society these days discourage self awareness with constant work and busy lifestyles that we can't even take a moment to do a little self-awareness. These days it seems like half the people in the world are living an examined life and other half isn't. They're many wise, intelligent and noble people in the world that know what they want out of life. They have goals, and bright futures or just constantly gaining knowledge.
Companion to Socrates. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2006. Print.
Navia, Luis E. Socrates, a life examined. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books, 2007. Print.
Palmer, Donald. Does the Center Hold? An Introduction to Western Philosophy. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 2007. Print.