A Few Thoughts In Passing

A few odds and ends gathered while researching other matters and good enough to pass on as useful words of wisdom long after they were first recorded.
In this 21st century since BC ended and AD started one of our constant laments is the overwhelming amount of injustice there is in the world. It isn’t a new lament. Plato had this to say to people who loudly complained about the injustice so prevalent in their times: “Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victim of it – and not because they shrink from it.”
Think about it before you click delete.
The ancient (400 years or so BC) Greek mathematician and philosopher had advice for young people starting to feel their oats and not at happy with the way adult generations are running their community, their province or their country. Many of them don’t think their parents too smart, either, and their bosses in the workplace downright dumb. They are young, proud, and all knowing.
Plato advised: “You are young, my son, and as the years go by time will change and even reverse many of your personal opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.”
Tell the young folk in your orbit to read it – and to think before they click delete.
Two thousand years later a Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) became the darling of the chattering class which has now morphed into the twittering crowd. He lacked the power of Plato and his gentle, sometimes too sweet, thoughts got buried by the maelstrom of World War 2. But he did leave much good advice in his garden of words: “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, kindness from the unkind; yet, strangely I am ungrateful to those teachers.”
Think before clicking delete.
I thought about Gibran when the government and the teachers were dancing their idiotic charade with both sides shouting their stands were right and honourable and for the sole benefit of the students and many teachers’ – but not all – were chanting “we love our jobs and our students but harsh classroom conditions make our jobs a trying burden.”
Gibran: “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple to take alms from those who work with love.”
Just think before you click delete.
A quick leap to Sir William Osler, (1859-1919) a Canadian revered as a medical doctor, not so well known and respected as he should be as a philosopher. He offered this to each of us:
“We are here to add what we can to, and not what we can take from, life.”
Which is another way of saying what Samuel Johnson wrote in the 1700’s:
“Life is very short and very uncertain; let us spend it as wisely as we can.”
Or as Etienne De Grellet (1773-1855) is credited with writing so eloquently:
‘’I shall pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
You can click delete now. But don’t stop thinking.

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