Socrates Vs. Plato: Three steps to loving the ‘good life’

In this dialogue, Socrates asks Plato how he lives.  Plato replies, a smart ass reply, but old Soc has three steps he wants Plato to apply to every part of his life, every second and every instance.

Soc:  How do you live the ‘good life’?

Plato:  I abstain from desire and act on aversion.

Soc:  That’s a foolish answer.  You have been memorizing the things I say and avoid what I do.

P:  That’s untrue Soc.  You know as well as I do.  That to act on desire becomes a mistake.

Soc:  I know no such thing.  I know how I feel.  Do you know how you feel?

P:  You mean how I feel right now?

Soc:  Right now!

P:  I am pissed.

Soc:  Good,you pissed at me?

P:  Yes.

Soc:  What are you going to do about it?

P:  I’m not going to back down.

Soc:  You are just plain mad at me.  You are just going to react to me.

P:  So what, of course I’m reacting to you.

Soc:  So what are you going to decide?

P:  What?

Soc:  I said, what are you going to decide to do about your madness?

P:  I’m still reacting to you.

Soc:  Okay, what do you do when you react?  Do you yell and sware?  Or walk away?  Or, do you plan to hit me?

P:  I usually just bark at people.

Soc:  Good, now, you need to decide what to do about your anger.

P:  You mean accept it, forgive and forget.

Soc:  I mean, decide!  For the most part, it is better to feel, react, and decide!  If you can decide, not to act on desire, but to act on aversion…

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