I was reading The Republic of Plato, expecting to learn of justice. Within the first five pages I read a sentence that truly made me think,
“If you have a contented mind at peace with itself, age is no intolerable burden; without that, age and youth will be equally painful.”(I.329)
This made think, what is a mind at peace with itself? Is that mind free of worry? I don’t think so. I think a mind at peace accepts what it cannot change. In old age, bones creak, arthritis can be painful, death is climbing the porch steps, and we are presented a choice. Whine and cry about it, or make the most of the life we have left. It is easy to become a curmudgeon who is yelling at kids to get off their lawn, but harder to speak to the youth. Harder yet, to get them to listen, but what is a life unlived? Is it even a life?
The same goes for youth, playing the victim is the same as the old people whining about dying. Sure life presents many situations to the youth, but we have the energy to provide solutions! We can change anything we set our minds to because we don’t feel death knocking at the door, or we can whine about the past. The choice seems easy, either way after complaining about what those before us did, the situation is still there. Using the mind to craft solutions to things there are to complain about brings that peace. Every small step taken allows for that pain to dissipate until peace remains. Don’t get me wrong I played the victim and lived four years of a painful youth before finally making the choice to change. It is a hard choice, but anyone is capable of doing so! All it takes is a big dose of believing in your unlimited potential, that powder keg of ideas waiting to explode!
Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments or suggestions let me know!