If I have learned something from Socrates is that you cannot teach people anything; you can only make them think. You can only draw out of them the wisdom which is latent within them. And by doing so, you help open their eyes, making them realize that they were born with wings and that they can fly, as high as they want to fly…
Anyway, I gathered what I thought to be some of Socrates best quotes and compiled them into 18 life changing lessons that you might want to learn.
1. True wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” ~ Socrates
“To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” ~ Socrates
“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.” ~ Socrates
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” ~ Socrates
2. Be as you wish to seem.
“The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.” ~ Socrates
3. Nothing changes until you do.
“Let him that would move the world first move himself.” ~ Socrates
“Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.” ~ Socrates
4. Virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.
“I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.” ~ Socrates
5. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings.
“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.” ~ Socrates
6. Those who realize that they have enough, are truly rich.
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” ~ Socrates
“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” ~ Socrates
7. Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.
“Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” ~ Socrates
8. Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates
“The really important thing is not to live, but to live well. And to live well meant, along with more enjoyable things in life, to live according to your principles.” ~ Socrates
9. Everything in life changes, nothing ever stays the same.
“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.” ~ Socrates
10. Being busy is not enough. It’s what are you busy with that counts.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates
11. God knows best what is good for us.
“Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.” ~ Socrates
12. Don’t confine yourself to certain parts of the world, explore it all.
“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” ~ Socrates
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” ~ Socrates
14. Don’t rush into friendships.
“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.” ― Socrates
15. Be impeccable with your word.
“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” ~ Socrates
16. Never return evil for evil. You will hurt yourself in the process.
“One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.” ~ Socrates
“The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him.” ~ Socrates
“All men’s souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.” ~ Socrates
18. Never stop wondering.
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Socrates
“The easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves. ” ~ Socrates
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ~ Socrates
“If you want to be a good saddler, saddle the worst horse; for if you can tame one, you can tame all.” ~ Socrates
“In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep.” ~ Socrates