The Quote by Socrates on Living Well:
“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
I think this quote is important because of what it shows about the thoughts of Socrates on living well. It shows what is important in life. In the modern day, as in ancient times, we are given a host of things that we are told are important. Money, fame, sex, and social standing are some of the prime topics. But Socrates is saying those are not important.
Yes, they can amount to an enjoyable life, but that isn’t as important. What is important for living well is living according to principles. In my view those principles should be standing up for what is right, passing on your ideals to the next generation, living a responsible life, and doing your best to work towards something.
Everyone can party their life away through drinking and drugs. The fact that a book called Narconomics exists is point in proof to that, as is the failed state that is Mexico. But avoiding using liberty responsibly and living a life of drug use isn’t living well. Living well is building something up. That could be a business, family, both, or something else. But building and working towards something is what is really important.
I used the full quotation because I think the second half is important. Usually only the first half is used, probably because it is catchier. But the second half is equally important because it gives a clue about how to apply the first half. Yes, the key is to live well. But how can that be done? Only through living according to principles.
How to Apply the quote by Socrates on Living Well to Life:
As I stated in the section above, living well can be done through living according to principles and working towards something bigger. However, that can be difficult to conceptualize, so I thought it would be good to give two examples.
Living Well in Atlas Shrugged:
The first example is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It is my favorite book of all time, and for good reason; it shows how to live well, and how not to live well. In the book there are two types of characters- looters and producers. The producers, or capitalists, are always striving towards something. They want to build up their businesses, products, or ideas.
They see what is good and want to not only spread it, but also improve upon it. That is living well. The looters, on the other hand, are only focused on gaining material comfort through redistribution of wealth. They rely on government handouts rather than their own minds, and they are all unhappy. Their unhappiness in life stems from not living well.
Marcus Aurelius’s Way of Living Well:
The second example is Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. In Meditations, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius describes how to live a life of principle. He was a Roman Emperor, master of the world. He could have lived a life of comfort and debauchery, as many tyrants have. Instead he chose to live a life of principle, and he wrote down how to life a life of principle like him. Meditations shows how to do that, it is a book everyone should read.
Hopefully those two examples show how to apply the advice in the quote by Socrates on living well to your life and live a life of principle and building something up. We only have one life to live, it is important to make the most of it. Use this quote by Socrates on living well, and my analysis of it, to improve your life!
Image at top from AZ Quotes
Check the quote out here: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/106034-the-really-important-thing-is-not-to-live-but-to
Read my review of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: https://genzconservative.com/atlas-shrugged/
Buy Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand here: https://amzn.to/2KekNAm
Buy Meditations by Marcus Aurelius here: https://amzn.to/2PuyvxL