Thursday, September 21, 2006

Man Know Thyself

The refrain above is one of the mantra more closely associated with the Greek Philosopher - Socrates- generally regarded as a pioneer of western classical thought. The teacher's admonition to know thyself is borne out of the presumption that a man that is aware of his weakness first and then his strength is a better human being. Indeed, "Socrates is famous for arguing that we must Know Thyself to be wise, that the unexamined life is not worth living". It is often said that fifty percent of your personal problems is solved when you know you have a problem.

Every New Year of my life like today, I generally have two rituals. As many of my friends will testify, I do not celebrate in any grand way. Indeed, the last time I celebrated in any grand manner on the 21st of September was my 8th birthday - many years ago. However, there are two rituals that have been an act of self discovery for the past five years. The first is that I take stock of my friends. Today is the day I generally go through my phone records, delete a bountiful number of contacts as I will do in the next two minutes, and weed out the bad influences and those ones that do not meet my minimum standards of loyalty. Loyalty has always been my number one value. A loyal friend is better than a thousand family members I think. It is just the way I have done it, and it is also an exercise in self analysis and discovery.

This leads to the second ritual- which is one of introspection, question asking and indeed perception. I often carry out a poll of someone very close to me in the past one year to find out how I fare on their friendship scale. This questionnaire is usually made up of two options which might not necessarily be antonyms. Questions like Aggressive or Passive, Submissive or domineering, sympathetic or empathetic, problem solving or critic etc. shows up. The honorable subject generally has an option of both, neither or one. The aim of this ritual is to come out of it knowing who I am based on a secondary opinion, evaluating who I can be based on the predication of my goals and will of my creator and fashion a way to be a better individual in the New Year that resumes in every year like today.
Friend, do you know thyself?


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