Contemplation followed the excitement of getting my Master’s degree. What I thought would be a key to a locked door, in reality was just another door, leading to a path crafted on the business of education. It’s not enough to get a bachelor’s degree in anything; you still need that next piece of paper- a Master’s degree. I completed mine with a 4.0 GPA. Research became second nature to me, and writing like a second skin. What they don’t tell you in school is that it is much like our government, a system that is broken attempting to perpetuate itself on a foundation which they already know doesn’t work.
So now what? What of the dreams of sharing the insights on critical thinking skills and necessities to further a more aware society from the ground up? What about the dreams which are seeded in the ability to share the knowledge and insights that are gained in a lifetime? If I am to look upon those who have blazed the trails ahead of my lifetime, I would have to begin with Socrates.
Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.) was very influential in the academic world through his philosophies. He wanted people to think for themselves and was executed as a result of his ability to encourage that in others. Debra Nails (2005) went so far as to say that Socrates “forever changed how philosophy itself was conceived” (2005, SPE) even though most of the information about him was handed down through oration, making it second hand, or less than credible over time. Nails also noted that he was “convicted and executed on the charge of irreverence toward the gods” (2005, SPE). Aristotle never wrote anything, never went to school, did not have an “education” in the same way that we see it now, but he was enigmatic with his ability to motivate people and speak; more importantly he had something to say that changed the ways in which people learned, and thought and, they wanted to hear it.
While I continue to ponder the significance of a formal education and whether or not it will actually assist in the formation of a path which makes sense to me, and serves a purpose, I will also enjoy the historical journey of those people who did that went before me. Maybe a refreshing visit with the remnants of Aristotle and Plato will be next!
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” Socrates
Nails, Debra (2005), Socrates, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved August 27, 2011 from The Stanford Philosophy Encyclopedia website:
Philosophy 302: Ethics: The ethics of Socrates. Lander University: < http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/socrates.html >.
Socrates: The significance of Socrates. < http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agexed/aee501/socrates.html >.