8 Life Lessons from Plato

The founder of the first institute for higher education in the West, Plato was born in the year 428 BC.

Having belonged to an influential family, the classical philosopher is described by many as one of the greatest writers on philosophical theories in the history of mankind.

Plato loved to study and worked hard it from a young age, absorbing everything he learned and reflecting on it.

The basis of epistemology, the theory of knowledge, lies in Plato’s works and teachings. A student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, Plato’s theories and teachings in the field of philosophy are the most widely studied and read around the world.

It is estimated that he had an IQ of over 180, compared to an average person’s IQ of 90-110.

Plato’s political philosophy teachings, the Republic, is one of the most famous works in the field of politics.
Plato’s philosophy and his words give us many great life lessons that we can adopt.

Kindness is key
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Kindness is a rare commodity these days. So not only will you be doing something unique by being kind, just the sheer satisfaction you will get by being kind to someone will be worth it. Not to mention, it just sends so much positive energy your way, and you never know which act of kindness turns to your favour in future. So be kind, be considerate, give space to that car that wants to turn into your path, hold the door for someone, smile at a stranger. Any little act of kindness counts, and you never know how it can make someone’s day so much better.

Think before you speak
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Not every thought of yours needs to be expressed in words. Sometimes it is best to assess a situation before giving your opinion. Sometimes it is best to not give your opinion at all. Before getting into a meaningless argument which will go nowhere, think. Before expressing your view on someone else, think are you being helpful or hurtful. Before you speak, think.

Play fair
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Have you ever sat down across someone who always came across as a really sweet person, but then goes through a complete personality change when playing a competitive game? Chances are that the way this person plays a game is the way they generally carry out business or other areas in their life. We can take two pieces of advice from this quote. One: Whenever you meet someone new, and are getting acquainted, try playing a board game or competitive game with them. And the second advice would be to check your own behaviour during competitive play. How do you react? Do you cheat? Do you get angry at losing? Check your behaviour. Overcoming your self flaws in a game may help you overcoming these habits in real life.

Just start it
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

In order to successfully finish a race, one must first start it. The start of your work is already 50% of your success, just because you started it. Don’t worry about the end just now. Start first.

Take part in the future of your country
“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

Our business or career success and personal and professional freedoms are largely dictated by the environment that we live in, whether we like to believe that or not. If you are unhappy about a regulation, then make your voice heard. Complaining without taking any action or responsibility as a citizen gets you nowhere. And if things are not going your way then you only have yourself to blame.

Do Good
“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”

If you want the world to be good with you then you must start with yourself first. Treat people how you would like to be treated, with respect, dignity and kindness. Even people who may not like you can see the goodness and kindness if you practice it consistently. The good karma coming your way by just doing good is a great support to take you to new heights.

Use your power wisely
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

You may not think that you have power but you do. You have power over everything that is smaller than you, or that is dependent on you. This includes, children, animals, even plants. A lot of times, people like to sit around and blame their presidents or bosses who exercise power over them. But ask yourself this question. Are you fair to everything that you have power over? Are you kind to your children? Are you nice to a stray animal that comes your way? Are you truly using the power you have with compassion?

Keep educating yourself
“If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.”

Learning is one of the most important things that a person can do, and possibly the best gift that a person can give himself. Time spent in learning something, anything, is never a waste. So keep learning, evolving and growing.