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Socrates X Students

Three ways Socrates’ philosophical knowledge can and should be applied to the modern-day student.

1. Bashing Blissful Ignorance

In a climate filled with highly competitive environments today, many may feel as though they do not know enough. Peers often are highly competitive and the curriculum can be overwhelming. Both of these factors can be discouraging at first, but do not fret. Socrates defines true wisdom as accepting that one does not know everything. To quote the infamous philosopher, “there is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Accepting that one will never know everything is true wisdom. This mindset of gently accepting a lack of knowledge can release pressure from students’ shoulders and inspire them to continue wanting to expand their knowledge for their own genuine incentives.

2. Patiently Positive

Socrates claims that human choice is motivated by the desire for happiness. He explains that when people know themselves first, they are then able to truly pursue what brings happiness. Being a student can come with the inescapable burden of assimilation, but being in school is a crucial time to find oneself. Being unafraid to explore unique and individual talents can open the path to further genuine positivity. Happiness ought to be a goal for everyone, Socrates explains: “happiness is the meaning and purpose of life.”

3. Long Term Mindset

Normally, the words “conflict” and “tension” have negative connotations; However, Socrates viewed both conflict and tension as critical steps toward growth and progress. Similar to how a glow stick ought to break before glowing, hard times can welcome experiences that have unexpected and beautiful outcomes. Students will face difficult times inevitably, whether that be impossible homework or stressful social situations. Even in MLK’s Letter from Birmingham, he quotes: “tension in society helps men rise.” Pushing through challenges and being willing to swim against the current of assimilation ultimately is worth it and will bring unique benefits.

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