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October 05, 2002-Right On Target

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                                                  October 05, 2002

 

                   RIGHT ON TARGET

 

Lately I have been trying to broaden my horizons by listening to other types of music besides rocknroll and reading books and material other than articles on history or sci-fi.

As you know I have been reading a book by Bill Bennett.[1] Well I finished that one and have begun reading Platos Republic.  I must say that it already has me thinking.

I am in the early stages of the book where the character known as Thresymechus is discussing with Socrates as to what constitutes a just man and whether an unjust man is better suited for government and life than a just man.  As a result I have discovered that my belief that a public servant,[2]that is to say a leader IS a servant to those who he leads, has been a correct assumption.  For it advances the notion that a leader cannot lead unless the needs of those governed are met and accounted.  This is not to say that big government should step in and do it all for its citizens, such as the cradle to grave theory of Socialism, but that a leader should see that all the services that are necessary for the running of a nation are functioning properly.  This in turn advances the whole of the nation.  It inspires the individual to achieve, while knowing that the leaders are fondly watching over the basic functions of government.

I was particularly inspired with the analogy presented by Socrates of the shepherd caring for his flock, for to him it is his livelihood.  Therefore he places the needs of the flock before his own well being.  But what I find truly amazing is how the Gospels present this same view.  I KNEW I HAD IT RIGHT!  Is it not found in the New Testament where Christ Jesus basically presents the same thing when He says I am the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd would lay down His life for His sheep?[3]

Now I must admit that Thasymachus does in fact make a valid point in stating that the unjust[4] man is better equipped to survive in the real world for he has little conscious, nor does he feel any guilt for his actions, (until he is caught).  Let us be honest here in stating that there are people in this world that will always try to get something for nothing, and take the free ride.  Yes they will perhaps live their entire lives in this manner, praying on those that are weaker than themselves or are not as smart as themselves.  Taking advantage of loopholes in this society to further advance themselves and/or their agendas. Their only interest is in themselves. However Socrates advances the idea that most of us try to reach for something nobler than the self.

  Well moving along in the book I found a statement that I thought is worth repeating here.  Socrates is speaking:

"Ceptalas, I count conversation with very old people among my greatest pleasures.  We ought to learn from them as from travelers on a road not yet taken but which most of us, sooner or later are destined to follow."

 

What a fantastic statement!  In this world there are many nations and cultures that still revere their older citizens.  Unfortunately however in this country that is hardly true anymore.  It is one of my little pet peeves in this life that we as a nation no longer respect our elders, nor do we listen to their advice on matters of importance. Yet they have, as Socrates said traveled on the road ahead of all of us.



[1] See my earlier comments on Mr. Bennett

[2] See my earlier comments on what constitutes a public servant

[3] See John 10:11-15

[4] In the Book of Psalms David the Psalmist in Psalm 10:2-11 pretty much encompasses the same thought, although after vs. 11 he goes on to speak on how God will take away the riches of the wicked.