My teabag has this saying on it's purple tag:
"The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." Socrates (460 - 399 BC)
Just to add a little historical perspective, while Gautama Buddha (Siddhartha) was wandering around talking about enlightenment and love, Socrates (as reported by Plato) was telling everyone to think, learn and discuss a bit more. 1.
I've been wondering about this idea of knowledge. What knowledge was Socrates talking about?
- Was he talking about the knowledge of how to kill another person efficiently with the least blood spilled?
- Maybe he was referring to the knowledge of how to bilk your neighbor out of millions of dollars.
- Quite possibly he was thinking of the knowledge of how to cheat on your spouse without getting caught.
I mean it is a little vague, wouldn't you say?
And if Ignorance is evil, why doesn't our government put more money into education? I mean, I was able to get a great education but the money, that was tight when I went to high school and college, is no longer available.
Currently 45% of students drop out of high school. Are they evil?
This man, Socrates, has such enormous influence in our world.
And what if he's wrong?
I think the lack of love is the greatest evil.
Maybe we should learn how to get along; how to love more; how to tolerate people who are different from us; how to disagree and still love; or even how to love our flawed imperfect selves.
That's knowledge worth having.
1. Yes, yes, Buddha said that ignorance was the root of suffering causing grasping and attachment. The knowledge necessary to cease suffering?? Basically becoming a good decent honest person. Go figure.