Friday, 16 September 2016

a jar of honey entitled silence

One day the great Greek philosopher Socrates (469 - 399 BC) came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."

"Three?", exclaimed the student.

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to test what you're going to say. 

The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"Oh no," the man said, "actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. 

Now let's try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates interrupted, "you want to tell me something bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. "You may still pass though, because there is a third test - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"

"Well, not really..."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. 

Maybe I'm getting old, but as you might notice, I seldom comment about things in Malaysia, whether politics, news, etc.

But I'm tired of my daily work, daily routines, problems and difficulties which I seldom share because as a guy, I hate to be bitchy about the difficulties I endure.

Man have round shoulders for bearing heavy loads - what Dave Mustaine sings in Megadeth's song Ashes in Your Mouth.

And so in this tiredness of life struggles, I no longer tend to tire myself with small stories of people, politics, news, etc.

I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess wisdom which I find wanting in others: 

but the truth is, O men of Athens, 

that God only is wise; 

and in this oracle he means to say that the wisdom of men is little or nothing... 

as if he said, He, O men, is the wisest, who like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. 

And so I go on my way, obedient to the god, and make inquisition into anyone, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise;

 and if he is not wise, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; 

 and this occupation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god.