To Plato: helping me to become a better person.

I was at the ArcLight today, browsing through the gift shop before a movie, where I picked up that fill-it-out-yourself book, “About Us”, a book for couples. First it was simple questions like: when did you first have erotic thoughts about this person? who used a pick-up line, and what was it? I was going to show it to V. Then quickly delved into more personal, tricky questions, followed by a warning, “Are you prepared to hear the answers?” I looked at those questions. My imagination quickly ran away with unpleasant possibilities.
I shut the book and put it back on the shelf.

….

I stopped asking when I learned to stop expecting, to save myself from disappointment and stress and heartache and all those other bad things not worth mentioning in fear that I’ll actually start thinking about them. Knowledge is power but ignorance really is bliss, a lovely sweet nothing.

….

I am just not that brave or maybe, mature yet.
A sort-a-sad.
This will require a good chunk of time.

….

Plato correctly stated that men are prisoners and that the perceptions we hold in our minds are our prisons.

“The Matrix” was based on Plato’s tale of the philosopher king and the allegory of the cave. Men trapped in a cave, away from each other, only able to see shadows of plants or animals. One man was able to escape the cave, and he came back, to enlighten those he had left, telling them of real animals, real plants he’d seen, and instead of being appreciative, they turn on him, in anger and in fear, believing him to be insane and their reality to be the one truth.

Perceptions can frighten and trap us. If you let them.

….

The homeless man– no, not who you’re thinking of, you’re thinking of the guy who sits down on the curb, I’m talking about the one who walks up and down in the street between the lanes, the white one with the beard and mustache on Oakwood and Vermont in front of the 101– he always smiles when asking for money, and tells everyone around him to smile. He’s the happiest beggar I’ve ever seen, here or any other city, and it’s because he expects nothing. Cliche, right? Don’t expect anything and be thrilled when you receive. Please don’t be too disappointed in me. We live in a society that has entitlement written all over it, and I’m guilty of being shaped by my surroundings and previous experiences, and maybe when I fully learn to come to terms with it all I’ll learn to appreciate everything at face value, without conceived notions of what it means, what is happening, or what will happen.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “To Plato: helping me to become a better person.

  1. love.me.as.i.am

    thanks for this letter. I’ll probably look back on it again two or three more times, maybe even more.

  2. judithchen

    i agree with the statement “knowledge is power but ignorance is a bliss” it’s what I’m facing right now. And indeed, as an INTJ I still can’t stop my mind on questioning things-out of the mainstream-and trying to struggle to keep my mind out of human mindset boundaries…

  3. Pingback: The Quote I Like and Things That I Hate « Judith Chen’s Mind Game

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