Friday, September 18, 2015
"Surely the oldest and perhaps the most familiar of all sayings is the ancient injunction of Socrates: "Know thyself." Almost everyone agrees on its importance, and many have tried to follow it; but with results that are more often disappointing than satisfying.
The failures come from a profound misunderstanding of the way to go about this process. For there is a paradox at the heart of the human situation, and it is this: We can only know ourselves through knowing others, and we can only know others through knowing ourselves.
In order to know oneself, no amount of introspection or self-examination will suffice. You can analyze yourself for weeks or meditate for months, and you will not get an inch further --- any more than you can smell your own breath or laugh when you tickle yourself.
You must first be open to the other person before you catch a glimpse of yourself. Our self-reflection in a mirror does not tell us what we are like, only our reflection in other people does.
We are essentially social creatures, and our personality resides in association, not in isolation."
Sydney J. Harris.
What I took from this quote is that think what we may about ourselves and our character, when we really find out who we are is when we socialize. Do I come away feeling positive, productive, more intimate with the person, or do I come away with judgments, criticisms, distance from them or feeling competitive. This is truly our level of maturity and godliness not what we think about ourself in isolation.