Are you thinking hard enough about your country?

By Masterwordsmith

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." – Plato

Very often, we can be swept away by routine and become oblivious to what is happening around us. An enquiring mind is so vital to help us to understand what is happening within us and around us, in particular, our own country. Sometimes, we may feel that it is not appropriate for us to think so much about governments because it is all too complicated and way beyond our abilities to make any difference. But guess what? Even Greeks who lived hundreds of years ago gave much thought to their government.

Now wouldn't it be terrific if you were to discover that you share opinions with great thinkers?

Let's consider Plato.

If you were to read about his life and the society in which he lived, you would be surprised as to how little have changed in politics. After more than 2000 years, one would think there would be a little more enlightenment in our leadership but that is not the case~

It might surprise you to know that Plato made some observations regarding politics that are amazingly relevant today. In fact, many political columnists are simply rehashing the same ideas Plato discussed with his cronies in Athens.

Plato, born in 427 B.C., was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of natural philosophy, science, and Western philosophy. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by what he saw as his teacher's unjust death.

This morning, let's consider some of his thoughts. I am sure the truth of his statements is likely to shock you till your eyes are wide open without that shot of coffee that you so desperately need! 🙂

1. "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

In my last post called SO WHAT IF I DON'T MAKE A STAND? I AM MALAYSIAN!! , I argued that each of us has the responsibility to be engaged in the political climate. One might say the smartest people take one look at political office and run the other way. Well, that may be smart, but it doesn't do much good when it comes to changing our country!! And why so? Would you want to end up with leaders who have the power and money and ego but not the leadership caliber or moral values required to win an election? To put it simply, that's way too similar to running for student body president in high school, if you ask me. In reality, we need to figure out how to get our best thinkers in leadership positions in our government and to do that, we need to develop a system that rewards integrity. And is this possible in Malaysia??

2. "The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort."

This has become an acceptable norm. If you were to consider virtually every paper in the world, chances are you'll find an editorial bashing the "Act now, think later" approach.

What we need today in Malaysia would be truly wise and thoughtful leaders, those who refrain from knee-jerk reactions and take the time to think about the manner in which they plan, execute and communicate their messages. We have to realize that it is thinking and not rash decision-making processes that will change the course of mankind and launch us into an era of consciousness. Plato had the same idea, which brings us to the next point.