Plato was a Greek philosopher born in 428/427 BC into a noble and prominent family. A student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle, he was the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first University in the West and the prototype for modern-day University. He is one prominent figure responsible for shaping philosophy and Western tradition. His ideas have stood the test of time through the years and still forging strong in the present and, most likely, in the future.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” ― Plato, The Republic.
His interest areas include Ethics, Politics, Metaphysics, Education, Art, Epistemology, Cosmology, Theology, Friendship, Literature, and Love. Many of Plato’s philosophical views are significant today. There are essential teachings from his widely known work, The Republic, which goes beyond Ethics, Business, and even personal development.
Plato’s Ideas and their Relevance
The influence of Plato is far-reaching. However, this article’s goal is not to fully exhaust all the teachings of Plato or examine all their relevance. We will succinctly look at some of the works of Plato and how they apply today.
#1. The Idea that Nothing is Beautiful without a Struggle
Plato, via this statement, speaks to individuals and those who always come up with excuses as reasons not to be responsible. You must sweat before you eat. This line is often used in workshops by motivational coaches. It is the truth, especially when it comes to work, as there must be an effort to get a result.
#2. The Most Important Part of the Work is the Beginning
This widespread opinion is as instructive as it is. Start first! Once you have started, you are buoyed to get to the finish line. This statement is the mantra of innovation. The essential thing in all that one does hinges on starting first. If you don’t begin something, you will never know how far you will be able to go.
#3. Teach Women the Same Thing as Men
If women are expected to do the same work as men, they must be taught the same thing: this idea can support the campaign of allowing them (as they choose) into any system and not stereotyping gender roles. As such, this notion promotes gender equality.
#4. The Need to Think More
Despite all technological advancements and innovations, there is still that sense of loss of our self-awareness. Most people will go with the crowd and not think much about their actions. Common sense is not so common these days. This affirms Plato’s argument that there will be “wrong values, careers, and relationships” because we get carried away with emotions and do not expend the energy needed to make rational decisions.
#5. The Ideal Society
The ideal society Plato spoke of is a community with skilled individuals who are happy with their lives. People who can think for themselves via ruling their minds will proffer solutions for the good of society. Those who tell the stories of reasons will bear the rule of their societies. Today, many societies lack this factor. Many have become entitled, whiny, and overly dependent. We are not solely to blame. The government bears most of society’s ire. Societal reformation is necessary to change mindsets to create a better community for all.
#6. Division of Labor
The first person who came up with the concept of the division of labor is Plato. The theory of his book The Republic revolves around society’s nature, focusing on labor division. The division of labor also forms one of the bases of the economic and marketing system. The division of labor, as he suggests, is because production capacity between individuals differs; specialization improves artistry and a well-timed result. His theory of this concept goes beyond consumer goods to include producer goods such as agricultural production, livestock, clothes, etc. This proposition isn’t limited to a particular setting, but he suggests collaboration with other societies.
#7. The Father-Son Relationship
Another relevant idea of Plato’s is that of the father-son relationship where the father’s role in the son’s life influences the son’s success. The relevance of this theory in today’s world makes a lot of sense. It is still a consistent philosophy today as children always look up to their parents. The idea of an ideal family as we use to know it has become distorted with a much watered-down value system from what it used to be. For instance, many single mothers keep the home together with the fathers missing in the children’s lives.
“The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.” ― Plato, The Republic.
Despite making many contributions to philosophy, some of Plato’s ideas have been queried, debated, and ruled off. But it doesn’t take away how influential his works have been in the modern world and their relevance in man’s day-to-day life. This has been succinctly Plato!