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?
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?
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…