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When a novice starts learning martial arts, he wears a white belt, symbolic of innocence. After months of practice, the white belt gets dirty and turns brown, symbolic of the first degree of attainment. After more practice, the belt gets soiled and eventually turns black, symbolic of full attainment.

If the practitioner does not stop learning even after full attainment, the black belt starts getting frayed, turning almost white, symbolic of return to innocence. The frayed white belt represents technical competence of an experienced martial artist, combined with the innocence and receptivity of a beginner. It signifies going beyond technique and embracing no-technique—coming full circle.

story source: white belt

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The original martial arts used only one belt as described above. But now-a-days the different colored belts are used to describe the practitioners growth.

At inner spirit martial arts, the white belt was symbolic of the crane. Where speed was developed and patience acquired. A crane can only survive a tiger’s attack with evasive maneuvers.

Through much practice, exercise and persistence one attained an orange belt. The symbol for the Tiger, strength.

Then comes the green belt. Where the student learns holds and throws. Agility, vitality, perseverance.

here is where many schools differ, some will have blue belts (water), purple belts (air)  and other colors before the brown belt. Many will go from brown to black as is many customary practices. At Inner Spirit Martial Arts the brown belt symbolized: Earth, well grounded, growth, deeply rooted and solid.

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as shone here…

Red belt symbolized… the dragon, full of fire, energy and the stage where one readies them self for black belt testing.

To attain the black belt one must demonstrate their abilities in their style of martial arts. One of the key elements is teaching, for a black belts primary task will be to teach others… coming full circle.

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I thought about this when I went to work the other day and I was asked to mentor a new officer. To teach them the ways of our profession. I realized I had come full circle in my employment. No matter what you do in life, when you have reached a certain point in your life, you will end up teaching others. Rather it be a profession or a grandparent. So, teach them well…

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may you pass your wisdom on to another this day

(~_~)

“There was an eagle flying through the sky. When an arrow pierced its side and it fell to the earth. As it lay there, it looked at the arrow and realized that the feathers on the arrow was made from its own feathers.”

“Often times we give our enemies the tools they need to defeat us. However a wise warrior forces its enemy to fight on its own terms, place and time.”

“No arrow flies straight,” it will need to be arched or risen for distance, and even the wind may play with its journey. The bow may cause the arrow to twist a bit but it does not matter if the hunter knows how to use this and make the arrow hit its mark. So the path may not be straight “but the main thing is that it finds its own path… crooked arrows!”

these excerpts from the movie … “Crooked Arrows.”

Let’s face it, you can never go wrong with a “Bad News Bears” movie. You can replace the bears part with anything you want — ducks, birds, geese, whatever — as long as the basic storyline is the same — a bunch of misfits learn from a reluctant coach on their way to becoming a great (or at least, decent) team. Throw in a troubled, wayward kid in there, the token Tomboy girl, and you’ve got yourself a feel-good sports movie that caters to the family crowd. Now you can do what the “Bad News Bears” did and get them almost there, or you can go full-tilt for feel good status and have them actually win the Big Game. Either/or.

That’s basically “Crooked Arrows”, which has “Superman Returns’” Brandon Routh playing a Native American far removed from his Native American-ness, who has to coach the tribe’s lacrosse team to the championship and prove his worth. He is, of course, a selfish jerk — in the beginning, but eventually learns and becomes a better man. Or some such.

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When Eagle reached near 40, it’s beak,talon and feathers becomes weak. For new life, eagle makes one hard decision. Eagle flies on top of a mountain and sits on nest. Then Eagle strikes its beak against a rock and pull it out.  After that it waits for new beak to grow. Then it starts plucking out it’s talons. New talons grow back. Then it plucks its old and thick feathers.

Now the painful process completed and it has to wait for 5 month to recover. After that it can make its fly to sky and  can enjoy new birth. Now it can live 30 years more.

       Some change needs to survive in difficulty. In miserable condition, we have to change life style. That process may be very painful. Sometimes we have to throw our old habits, memories and our daily routines. We can’t go ahead with all our past burdens. Then we have to free our burdens and sorrows
Read more:

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The road may not be straight but you’ll reach the end of your journey just the same, if you become a crooked arrow.

(~_~)

A boy ‘n a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her.

The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. Read the rest of this entry »

They presented a chest Xray to a cardiologist, so he saw only the heart…
Then they presented it to a pulmonary physician and he saw only the lungs…
They presented it also to an orthopedist so he saw only the bones… and so on…
but no one saw it as whole unique image…
Isn’t that what we do always?…
Each one see his site of interest…
So, for one time… see the whole image…

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Two men were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. “He gave me this advice,” his companion replied. “Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.”

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There was a man saying always: everything is good… whatever is the situation or the event… everything is good…
He was a friend of the king… and he filled his life with these words…
One day, and while they were hunting, an accident happened, and the king lost one of his fingers…
Our man said: oh king! That’s a good thing…
The king gets angry, and he put him without discussion in jail…
Many years later, the king was in a trip, and he gets lost in the forest… on the way back, he was lost… and the cannibals kidnapped him…
They took him to their village… they put him near the fire and started dancing…
Suddenly, and while desiring to eat his body, one cannibal approached to him… to find what?! He is not a complete man… he is without finger… and they don’t eat incomplete bodies… he asked his friends to stop dancing… he is not complete… release the prisoner…
While going back to his thrown… crying all the way… he remembered his friend… he put him in prison, while he was right…
He goes back to him while saying: forgive me my dear friend; I jailed you all these years for nothing… you were right…
The man asked his king: what happens?
The king told him the story…
The man smiled while saying: that’s good you jailed me all these years…
The king gets angry again: what was the good in jailing you… tell me…
The man said: If I was not in prison, then I must be with you that time… and I’m a complete body…

these stories found here

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we are born, wet, naked and hungry, from there things get worse

so, remember, acceptance is the key to tranquility

(~_~)

I was introduced to The Shark and the Goldfish by my boss. He tacked a post-it to its cover that said “I think this will change your perspective on things” and left it on my desk.

My first impression wasn’t positive. The story is illustrated, so it reminded me of a children’s book. The opening statement–Are you a shark or a goldfish?–made me wonder what the heck my boss was trying to tell me. Was he suggesting that I needed to be more of a man? I didn’t get it. I skimmed the book’s contents within five minutes, decided the story was too hokey for my tastes, and dismissed it as unimportant.

Sometime later, a coworker recognized the book in my cubicle and asked me about it. After explaining why I didn’t really read it, my coworker agreed that although the story was corny, the message is what really mattered. He suggested I try reading it again, saying “Make sure you read the introduction this time.”

After reading The Shark and the Goldfish front to back, I’m happy to report that I get it now. The author Jon Gordon starts off with a confession saying that of course a goldfish, a freshwater fish, cannot survive in the ocean. Gordon goes on to explain that his “Shark or Goldfish?” concept started out as a story he liked using in motivational speeches. The story is intentionally short so he can communicate his point quickly. Consequently, The Shark and the Goldfish is more of a quick-and-dirty tool than a magnum opus:

A goldfish is alone is his bowl, perfectly content with being fed each day. During a trip to the beach he is accidentally swept away into the ocean, where he starts to go hungry. He fears that he is done for, until he meets a friendly shark who challenges his thinking.

The message shines through in this bit of dialogue between the shark and his newfound friend: “You know what your problem is?” “I’m starving and no one will feed me.” “No, you are waiting to be fed.”

The focus of the story revolves around one important truth: You can’t control the events in your life. You can, however, choose how you respond to them.

This truism is the motivation that the shark uses to teach the goldfish how to “be a shark.” In order to be a successful shark, the goldfish will need to work hard for his food. Furthermore, it’s not a “once in a while” type of work — it’s a mindset that reinforces the need to work hard every day.

It is a lesson that translates well into dealing with adversity. If you’re unemployed, you can’t wait for jobs to come knocking at your door – you must actively search for jobs and beat out the competition to a job offer. If you’re working in a dead-end job, you can’t wait for something better to land in your lap – you must actively seek out new opportunities. If you’re anxious to get a raise or a promotion, you can’t wait for someone to notice you – you must take on extra projects, leverage your contacts, and do other proactive tasks that will help get you get noticed.

Though the main focus of The Shark and the Goldfish is about turning misfortune into fortune by seeing opportunity in the midst of adversity, there are other lessons to be learned from the story. The book highlights these different lessons that the goldfish learns through illustration: Whenever the goldfish learns something, he’ll inscribe a reminder into different rocks or pieces of coral throughout the ocean. The reminder that resonated most with me is the importance of faith over fear.

Faith and fear are similar because both are beliefs of a future that hasn’t happened yet. Fear is the belief in a negative future, while faith is a belief in a positive one. Fear is most common, because of the multiple forms it comes in. There is fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of starving, fear of change, and even fear of fear. Because fear can be so paralyzing, it’s no wonder that so many people will settle for their small goldfish-bowl world. We are content, so long as we’re being fed.

As a result, we forget about our options for a different future. We lose sight of our own potential because our faith in a positive future is drowned out by all of the fears we carry.

In The Shark and the Goldfish, the goldfish successfully overcomes his fears. In the face of adversity, he chooses to be proactive. Despite negativity from naysayers, he proves himself to be a shark capable of finding more food than he’d ever need. He decides to create a school for fish that once thought like himself, and teaches what it takes to be a shark like him.

At about 80 pages, many of which have less than 15 words on them due to illustrations, The Shark and the Goldfish can be read in under an hour. Gordon admits that he’s received criticism regarding the length and simplicity of the book, and I almost dismissed its significance because of just how small it is.

In spite of my poor first impression, I am grateful that The Shark and the Goldfish was recommended to me a second time, because I see now what my boss was getting at. When it comes to success, attitude is everything. With a proactive approach to life, you can handle everything that’s thrown at you, even if it’s as terrifying as the vastness of the ocean to a tiny goldfish. You realize that against all odds, you are still in control over yourself. As a result, you are in control of your life.

As Gordon puts it, the choice is yours. What do you want to be? A shark or a goldfish?

Are you a shark or a goldfish

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“Finding positive ways to strive through waves of change.”

(~_~)

 

 
Fran the Frog was the best chef in the whole swamp, and all the toads and frogs of the region enjoyed coming to her very select restaurant. Her ‘Flies in spicy bug sauce’ and her ‘Caramelised dragon flies wings with honey of bee’ were the kind of delicacies that every self-respecting frog should try; and that made Fran feel truly proud.

One day, Toby came to her restaurant, ready for a nosh. Toby was a great big toad, and certainly wasn’t the brightest. When Fran’s fine creations were brought before him he complained, saying that that wasn’t food, and that what he really wanted was a botfly burger. Fran came out of the kitchen to see what the problem was, and Toby told her that these dishes weren’t good enough for – and certainly wouldn’t fill – a Smooth Newt. This made Fran so offended, and furious, that she went to the kitchen, came back with a frying pan, and whacked Toby squarely on the forehead.

A slight scuffle ensued.

Even though Fran realised she should have controlled her temper, and she kept asking Toby to forgive her, the toad was so angry that he said he could only forgive her if she handed him the frying pan so he could hit her back.
Everyone tried to calm Toby down, knowing full well that, given his strength, he could easily crack little Fran’s head open with that frying pan.

Toby would not accept an apology, and Fran felt awful for having bashed him, so she tried everything. She gave him a special cream for bruises, she poured him an exquisite puddlewater liqueur. Even better than that, she cooked him a… beautiful botfly burger!

But Toby the Toad still insisted he would not be satisfied until he got to return the blow he had received. It had reached the stage where he was almost getting out of control.

Then a very old toad entered the restaurant, shuffling along with the help of two crutches.

– Wait Toby, – said the old toad -you can give her a whack after I’ve broken your leg. Remember that you are the reason why I have to walk with these crutches.

Toby didn’t know what to say.

He recognised the old toad. It was Reddit, his old teacher. When Toby was small, Reddit had saved him from a bunch of young hooligans. In the process, Reddit had lost a leg. Toby remembered that it had all happened because he had been highly disobedient, but he had never given a thought to Reddit until now…

Toby now realised he was being very unfair to Fran. Everyone, including himself, made mistakes sometimes. And if we are to return blow for blow, wound for wound, all we are doing is prolonging the damage. So, even though his head still hurt and he thought Fran had made quite a remarkable mistake with that frying pan, seeing her feeling so sorry, and doing everything she could to put things right, Toby decided to forgive her.

Apology accepted, they spent the rest of the evening laughing at what had happened, and enjoying wonderful botfly burgers. And everyone heartily agreed that that was a rather better idea than getting into problems with pans.

story source: a frog and a frying pan

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If every one lived by the rule an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind.

when your cup over flows with cuteness… smile!

(~_~)

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.”
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.”
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard….
She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

this story found here!

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Karma

  • Though they didn’t use the term “karma,” ancient Greek’s certainly believed that the actions of a person would be revisited upon that person, whether good or bad. That is, if a person mistreated somebody, he or she would be mistreated at some point in their lives. Similarly, if a person was kind or helpful to somebody, he or she would be the beneficiary of some future kindness or help.

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How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours
 
(~_~)

A man was on the side of the road with a large birdcage. A boy noticed that the cage was full of birds of many kinds.

“Where did you get those birds?” he asked.

“Oh, all over the place,” the man replied. “I lure them with crumbs, pretend I’m their friend then when they are close, I net them and shove them into my cage.”

“And what are you going to do with them now?”

The man grinned, “I’m going to prod them with sticks, and get them really and so they fight and kill each other. Those that survive, I will kill. None will escape.” The boy looked steadily at the man. What made him do such things? He looked into the cruel hard eyes. Then he looked at the birds, defenseless, without hope.

“Can I buy those birds?” the boy asked. The man hid a smile, aware that he could be on to a good thing if he played his cards right.

“Well,” he said hesitantly, “The cage is pretty expensive, and I spent a lot of time collecting these birds, I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll let you have the lot, birds, cage and all for ten pounds and that jacket you’re wearing.” The boy paused, ten pounds was all he had, and the jacket was new and very special, in fact it was his prized possession.

Slowly, he took out the ten pounds and handed it over, then even more slowly he took off his jacket, gave it one last look then handed that over too.

And then (well, you’ve guessed it) he opened the door and let the birds go free.

MORAL OF THE STORY IS . . .

Evil, was on the side of life’s road with a very large cage. The man coming towards him noticed it was crammed full of people of every kind, young, old, from every race and nation.

“Where did you get all those people?” the man asked. “Oh, from all over the world,” Evil replied. “I lure them with drink, drugs, lust, lies, anger, hate, love of money and all manner of things. I pretend I’m their friend, out to give them a good time, then when I’ve hooked them, into the cage they go.”

this story found here!

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There is an old story about a fellow who lived alone and went to a pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the bird might fill some of his lonely hours. The very next day, however, he came back to complain, “That bird doesn’t talk.”

The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man said he didn’t. “Oh, parrots love mirrors,” he explained. “When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he’ll just start talking away.” So he sold him a birdcage mirror.

The bird owner was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still hadn’t said a word. “That’s very peculiar,” allowed the pet expert. “How about a swing? Birds really love these little swings, and a happy parrot is a talkative parrot.” So the man bought a swing, took it home, and installed it in the cage.

But he was back the next day with the same story. “Does he have a ladder to climb?” the salesman asked. “That just has to be the problem. Once he has a ladder, he’ll probably talk your ear off!” So the fellow bought a ladder.

The man was back at the pet store when it opened the next day. From the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. “Didn’t your parrot like the ladder?” he asked. His repeat customer looked up and said, “The parrot died.”

“I’m so sorry,” the stunned businessman said. “Did he ever say anything?”

“Well, yes. He finally talked just before he died. In a weak little voice, he asked me, ‘Don’t they sell any bird seed at that pet store?'”

Some of us have mistakenly thought that happiness consists of lining our cages with toys, gadgets, and other stuff. Excessive consumption has become the hallmark of American life. “Whoever has the most toys wins” seems to be the likely candidate to be the bumper sticker for an entire culture. But is it so?

There is a spiritual hunger in the human heart that can’t be satisfied by seeing one’s own image reflected back in vanity mirrors, playing with our grown-up toys, or climbing the corporate ladder. Our hearts need real nourishment.

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I know why the caged bird sings…

(~_~)

 

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan.  It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people.  Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were blaring, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.

Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”

His friend said, “What?  You must be crazy.  You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”

“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.”

  “That’s crazy,” said the friend.

The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing.  He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and  sure enough, he located a small cricket.  His friend was utterly amazed.

“That’s incredible,” said his friend “You must have superhuman ears!”

“No,” said the Native American.  “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”

“But that can’t be!” said the friend.  “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”

“Yes, it is, it depends on what is really important to you.  Here, let me show you.”

  He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk.  And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

“See what I mean?” asked the Native American.  “It all depends on what’s important to you.”

this story found here

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It’s a cold day in December in New York City. A little boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she then purchased a pair of shoes for him, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head, and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand and looking into her face with tears in his eyes, he answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s wife?”

–Author Unknown

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have an incredible day

(~_~)

Handsome is as handsome does

Every morning, before leaving his home, the great philosopher Socrates used to stand in front of a mirror and gaze attentively at his reflection for several minutes.
 
One day, a disciple came upon him doing this, and was unable to suppress a smile at the sight of his master examining himself so closely. Socrates turned to him and said, “You are smiling, no doubt, at the sight of this ugly old fellow staring at himself in the mirror, are you not? I do this everyday.”
 
Shamed, the disciple bowed his head, but before he could beg pardon, Socrates continued: “On seeing myself in the mirror everyday, I become aware of my own ugliness. This strengthens my resolve to live in a way that the virtue of my work may outshine the unattractiveness of my countenance.”
 
The disciple exclaimed, “Master, do you mean to say that those who are good looking should not look in a mirror at all?”

“Nothing of the sort” said Socrates. “They should also keep looking in the mirror to remind themselves to think, speak and behave in a way that is as beautiful and striking as they are. May not their actions cast a shadow over their pleasing appearance.”

In this way Socrates left behind a profound lesson for all of us: Handsome is as handsome does.

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After his service in the war, Socrates devoted himself to his favorite pastime: the pursuit of truth.

His reputation as a philosopher, literally meaning ‘a lover of wisdom’, soon spread all over Athens and beyond. When told that the Oracle of Delphi had revealed to one of his friends that Socrates was the wisest man in Athens, he responded not by boasting or celebrating, but by trying to prove the Oracle wrong.

So Socrates decided he would try and find out if anyone knew what was truly worthwhile in life, because anyone who knew that would surely be wiser than him. He set about questioning everyone he could find, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Instead they all pretended to know something they clearly did not.

Finally he realized the Oracle might be right after all. He was the wisest man in Athens because he alone was prepared to admit his own ignorance rather than pretend to know something he did not.

Know thy self… Socrates

(~_~)

Art~

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