Aristotle, the greatest student of Plato and the man who tutored the famous Alexander can teach us a lot. He is the father of many disciplines—Logic, Political Science, Zoology, Rhetoric and a whole bunch of others.
And Aristotle is probably the greatest philosopher of all time and a polymath who surpasses all and hence a worthy man to look into. Let’s dive in—
- 1)Golden Mean in life
“Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is an addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is an addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.
Avoiding both these extremes, the Perfect One has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment.”—Buddha.
Aristotle and Buddha have something in common. That is the Middle way or the Golden mean. It is a powerful spiritual tool and a practical way to live life.
The mean path says to avoid extremities in life. Not to be a Hippie avoiding life nor a Materialist who’s sucked into life. Not to be a Moralist who doesn’t care about money nor a Capitalist whose life is run by dollars.
In life, not to show cowardice nor rashness but a sign of reasonable courage, And balancing passions and reality. The idea is neither to be in excess nor deficiency but moderation.
Next time, someone snaps at you, don’t be silent nor dynamite exploding on him/her but deal it with reasonable disapproval.
- 2)What is good parenting?
“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”—Aristotle.
The Greek thinker opines that good parents educate children and that’s the only property that they can give which is worthwhile. A good inheritance is worthless unless your daughter is a woman of character and has prudence and probity.
Parents should teach what a good life is and how to be more empathetic and avoid being envious of others. And how to be more courageous, intelligent and compassionate.
A good education imparts humility and many virtues that act as a shield to evil vices around us. It shows how big a responsibility being a parent is and what matters to a child’s good governance of his life.
- 3)Intellectual Humility
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” —Aristotle.
Bertrand Russel, who’s another giant head, wittily said that stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Once you have a cultured tongue and a reasonable amount of ideas in your head, that should not make you arrogant. We mortals can never knowledge that is full and complete. The more we empty the cup, the more we can fill as Bruce Lee would say. Despite so much advancement in science, we could not even unravel the nature of any single atom!
We are still 90% blind to reality and could just figure out some basic things to live.
Another part is to admit we are wrong. Graciously admit where you went wrong and how miscalculated the estimates and move on. Only cowards never accept the mistake. The brave and the wise know that out of 10 things we do, rarely the number crosses 1.
Still, doesn’t have the guts? No problem, at least be the criminal in your court of conscience and do the inner sentence.