Thursday, April 26, 2018

Inspiration from The Past (Part I).




Am writing this from Porto Heli in the Peloponnese, listening to Leonard Cohen (more on that next week) and studying a wonderful set of photographs of The Acropolis by Marina Vernicos on behalf of CreAid – a non-profit with a humanitarian purpose served through Creativity and Art – and populated by dynamic creative, imaginative, passionate entrepreneurs.

The project MY ACROPOLIS comes complete with many quotes from the Greek Philosophers – which I last visited aged 14 as a Lancaster Royal Grammar School student.  Rereading them, it became obvious that many of my principles and beliefs were based on these philosophies – much to my surprise.  Osmosis is a wonderful concept.  A sampler of these teachings from 496BC to 119AD …

On Love:
·       Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.  (Euripides)
·       At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.  (Plato)  For Robin.

On Friendship:
·       Of all the things that wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.  (Epicurus)
·       Be slow to fall into friendship, but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.  (Socrates)
·       I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.  (Plutarch)
·       It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.  (Epicurus)

On Wisdom:
·       Wisdom begins in wonder.  (Socrates)
·       As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.  (Socrates)
·       Men should strive to think much and know little.  (Democritus)
·       To make no mistakes is not in the power of man, but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.  (Plutarch)
·       Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.  (Socrates)
·       The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. (Antisthenes)
·       It takes a wise man to recognise a wise man.  (Xenophanes)

Thank you Jim Bates (LRGS Teacher, RIP April 2018) for opening a young boy’s eyes to the Classics.

KR