If there is one thing I have learned it is that I will always want to learn more.
The moment Brian Cox says something in his series on the universe or Richard Attenborough reveals another of nature’s little secrets I am reminded of Socrates. “I know nothing!” I learn about stuff from other people talking, not me talking.
“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing, for when I don’t know what justice is, I’ll hardly know whether it is a kind of virtue or not, or whether a person who has it is happy or unhappy.” (The Republic, Plato)
I hope you will learn here
Dag Hammarskjold, asked us to remember to stay true to our spirit, true to ourselves in all matters:
“Never,for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.”
Which is a bit like Socrates again: I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live.
The principle is to examine what are my motives, beliefs, understanding (I know nothing), and then, Am I living according to those principles?
Petronius Arbiter Petronius Arbiter (c. 27 – 66 AD): Yea, I have lived; never shall Fate unkind, Take what was given in that earlier hour. Helen Waddell (1889-1965) translated the latin Pervixi as I have lived thoroughly.
So far we are exhorted to live thoroughly, speak with out fear or favour your own ideas, remember we know nothing and it is better to die living my beliefs than live living yours.
Walt Whitman sums it up in one sentence… admittedly quite a long sentence but very well summed up it is. Walt would prefer you sing it out loud:
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,
re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”