There is a quote from one of my favorite books, The Way of Kings, which says “expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.” I believe that Socrates would want us to keep our minds open in order to experience different things in our lives. I think that this quote has a couple of key points, the first one being that if we don’t examine out life and understand why we do the things that we do, then there wasn’t really a point in going through the experience. I compare this to one of the most hated school subjects, math. When you take a math test or work on an assignment, you can go through the proper steps and maybe get the right answer, but if you don’t understand the steps and how and why it worked, then there wasn’t a point in learning the steps at all.
This relates back to the quote as Socrates would say that if we go throughout our life and dont learn anything from the experiences that we go through, then it would be the same as if we didn’t live at all.The quotes goes really well with another famous Socrates quotes in which he refers to people “sleepwalking through life” where if we just go through life sleepwalking and not realizing what is happening, then you will never get anything different out of your life and you will always be just another cog in the machine that is our society today. I like to refer to this quote as people that go through life on autopilot mode.
We all know what autopilot is, it is when you are operating something similar to an airplane or, perhaps in the near future, a car and you turn on autopilot and the machine operates itself and doesn’t require any input from the user. Sometimes, we can feel the need in our lives to turn our lives on autopilot mode and just go through the motions of life and not have to worry about any of the more complicated things that may happen. Socrates would advise against this however, as he believed that everyone had their own unique path to happiness in this life and just going through life sleepwalking isn’t the way to achieve it.
Lots of people, once they put themselves in autopilot mode, have a moment where they realize that this isn’t what they want to be doing and they turn off autopilot, or in other words, wake up from their sleepwalking state. This idea has been very relevant in my life, as I am the youngest child of four, and m y oldest sister has been very successful in that she has done everything that my parents have wanted of her and tried her best to be the perfect child. My two middle sisters however, have both gone in different directions that my parents may not have wanted for them, but they decided to do what they wanted instead of their parents. That only leaves me, who has tried to be the perfect child that my parents have wanted me to be, but also trying to do what I want to do in my life. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with both aspects and sometime in the near future, i’ll need to decide if I want to continue with my life on autopilot, or take control and no longer go through life as if I was sleepwalking.
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