Aim to do better than your teacher


By: N. George

Worth Noting:

  • Meletus an ancient Athenian Greek had a hand in the trial of Socrates by accusing him of refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the State and of introducing new and different gods and corrupting the youth. Consequently, he was executed. His execution brought remorse to Athenians to an extent that they later on executed Meletus and those who associated with him.
  • Whereas Socrates never spoke about the soul of human being Plato laid emphasis on the importance of the human soul over and above human body.
  • This is a clear indicator of how a student may go a notch higher than his teacher and retain good relationship including depending upon and popularizing the work of his teacher.

We feel, perhaps unconsciously, that learning from Masters and submitting to their authority is somehow an indictment of our own natural ability, even if we have teachers in our lives, we tend not to pay full attention to their advice, often preferring to do things our own way. In fact, we come to believe that being critical of Masters or teachers is somehow a sign of our intelligence, and that being a submissive pupil is a sign of weakness…….………… Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

When I think of Platonist school of thought and its founder Plato who was an Athenian philosopher during the classical period, I feel much motivated by him especially his bold steps to start academy and openly speak his mind. The same courage was exhibited by his teacher Socrates and his famous student Aristotle. They all went ahead and expressed their views without minding how others will act or react.

Socrates’ teachings influenced his student Plato who played a great role in the promotion of philosophy. Though Socrates never wrote any texts, in the writings of his students namely Plato and Xenophon there are numerous accounts about Socrates their teacher and through them the latter generations have come to know about him.

The works of Socrates in the fields of rationalism, ethics and epistemology as written in Plato’s dialogues about his teacher have contributed a lot in the growth of these fields. In Socratic dialogue there are his methods of questioning called elenchus.

Socrates is known for his ignorance which he did not shy away from publicly proclaiming. He argued that by becoming aware of his ignorance he was able to philosophize himself. Everything towards self-improvement indeed starts with knowing who you are, your strengths and weaknesses.

The character of Socrates used an investigative tool where you listen or read and analyse the conversation between him and his interlocutors. Socrates interrogated everyday views and popular opinions.

The death of Socrates came as a result of the authorities accusing him of corrupting the minds of the youths in Athens. His efforts to defend himself fell on deaf ears as the majority of votes were cast by the jury of male Athenian citizens, he offered a fraction of his own assets for compensation which they declined and ordered a death penalty on accounts of corrupting youth, worshipping false gods and failure to worship the state religion as doing so was part of their customs.

Plato followed Socrates his teacher, Aristotle followed Plato his teacher. They were able to expound his ideas, the discipline of philosophy was much popularized during their period. Their writings still impacting many scholars till today.

Anytus an ancient politician in Athens accused Socrates of corrupting the young people of the city and impiety against the pantheon of Athens.

Meletus an ancient Athenian Greek had a hand in the trial of Socrates by accusing him of refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the State and of introducing new and different gods and corrupting the youth. Consequently, he was executed. His execution brought remorse to Athenians to an extent that they later on executed Meletus and those who associated with him.

Whereas Socrates never spoke about the soul of human being Plato laid emphasis on the importance of the human soul over and above human body.

This is a clear indicator of how a student may go a notch higher than his teacher and retain good relationship including depending upon and popularizing the work of his teacher.

If as a parent you were well-trained by your parents and have reached certain status in life you should not take that as the uppermost limit for your kids. You need to acknowledge that whatever you teach them is whatever you know, they have their inborn talents plus other experiences other than what you teach them, so they are at an advantage compared to you as far as achieving higher heights in life than where you reached.

Aristotle was a student of Plato. They both believed in superiority of thoughts when you compare thoughts to senses. Plato went ahead to believe that senses could fool a person. In his understanding Aristotle saw the use of senses in determination of reality through the right channel.

Differing with your teacher should not be taken as a crime provided you have convincing reasons to do so.

Invention requires introduction of new ideas consequently new ways of carrying out operations. When this happens there is opposition from those who do not understand the new idea and those who are jealous that someone else have come up with an idea which will give them fame. The same happens when there is innovation.

If you happen to be an inventor or innovator and happen to realize that some of your trainers do not appreciate your idea even if they taught you basic ideas in certain fields, they may go ahead and disown you, but that should not dissuade you from continuing to do what is beneficial to you and to others.

Whenever ideas are presented, their popularity depends on their huge acceptability or huge controversy, unless they get either of the two not many people will know them, adopt or reject them. Do not shy to go a notch higher than your trainer or be different from them, doing so is an indicator that you mastered what they taught you and took to deliberately take an extra mile.

Learn to think outside the box. Do not behave like a transmission line that carries only what have been input in it without adding, subtracting or diverting anything. Do not be like a reservoir that stores what is put into it without adding value to it. You have mind to think, think outside the box.

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