Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

Inspiration from The Past (Part I).

April 27, 2018

Am writing this from Porto Heli in the Peloponnese, listening to Leonard Cohen (more on that next week) and studying a wonderful set of photographs of The Acropolis by Marina Vernicos on behalf of CreAid – a non-profit with a humanitarian purpose served through Creativity and Art – and populated by dynamic creative, imaginative, passionate entrepreneurs.

The project MY ACROPOLIS comes complete with many quotes from the Greek Philosophers – which I last visited aged 14 as a Lancaster Royal Grammar School student.  Rereading them, it became obvious that many of my principles and beliefs were based on these philosophies – much to my surprise.  Osmosis is a wonderful concept.  A sampler of these teachings from 496BC to 119AD …

On Love:

  • Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other. (Euripides)
  • At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. (Plato)  For Robin.

On Friendship:

  • Of all the things that wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. (Epicurus)
  • Be slow to fall into friendship, but when thou art in, continue firm and constant. (Socrates)
  • I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. (Plutarch)
  • It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us. (Epicurus)

On Wisdom:

  • Wisdom begins in wonder. (Socrates)
  • As for me, all I know is that I know nothing. (Socrates)
  • Men should strive to think much and know little. (Democritus)
  • To make no mistakes is not in the power of man, but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future. (Plutarch)
  • Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. (Socrates)
  • The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. (Antisthenes)
  • It takes a wise man to recognise a wise man. (Xenophanes)

Thank you Jim Bates (LRGS Teacher, RIP April 2018) for opening a young boy’s eyes to the Classics.



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