Portraits of Wizards : Plato, Galileo, Thomas Alva Edison

Plato - by Raphael (1483-1520)


"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

Plato was one of the devoted young followers of Socrates'. Most of the modern sciences like sociology, political science and even psychology have their roots in Plato's main writing, The Republic.

Here in the above quote, he describes the necessity of the system of laws. The laws are, in their ultimate meaning, the common wishes of all the citizens. And if we want to have the advantages of remaining in society, we are bound to follow the rules necessary for keeping the society going smoothly and happily.

But there are sections among people who for several reasons of their own tend to violate these laws. And on their impulse to do the same; they, the bad people as described by Plato, ignore the laws. For them, there should be punitive provisions. While for those who do understand the relevance of the laws, they hardly need any law either. Because in absence of laws, too, they would follow the general rules of behaviour. They do not need to be reminded of the importance of the system of law in society. For Plato, opinion was the medium between knowledge and ignorance. So he pressed for the knowledge. 

Portrait of Galileo Galilei Oil on canvas
by Justus Sustermans
 National Maritime Museum, London

Galileo Galilei 

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo Galilei

Galileo was born in Pisa. During his lifetime he revealed his telescopic observations of the moons of Jupiter. He used his observations to argue in favour of the sun-centred theory of the universe. In his days there was a theory that the whole world was earth-centred. It was called the Aristotelian theory; Galileo had found evidence against that theory.

Here in the above quote he simply reflects his mind. The only living creature in the universe that has been endowed with the gracious gift of reason is the human. If we avoid using the same reason in our life, we are not better than any other animal.

In the time of Galileo, they were against the reason in the matter of scientific inventions. People believed that the earth was flat. Galileo objected to it by providing proofs for the same. In the time of diehard religious fanatics, it was nothing more than a challenge of life and death for him. But he used his reason, sense and the intellect the God had given to him. 

That is his message that uses what the almighty God has given to you. 

Thomas Alva Edison - Scientist
Scanned by User: LA2 in October 2005

Thomas Alva Edison

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was a scientist, born in Milan, Ohio, USA. He had developed numerous devices we used today and without which our life would function smoothly. His inventions greatly influenced our life around the world. These inventions include the phonograph and the long-lasting light bulb.

Here in this quotation, he had talked about the necessity of persistent efforts. Try. Try and Try. If we leave the battlefield due to the defeats we face, we would never win.

In our life, it happens that we face odd times; some failures in our efforts. This may be due to various reasons: the lack of experience, improper use of the means applied, wrongly timed efforts and so on. And we eventually do no succeed. We do not get the results as planned.

Hence we quit the field. Here we lose. We not only lose our achievement, but we also lose the essence of the fighting within us. Our spirit is dampened and that could cause long-lasting damages. 

So Edition guides us to take the failure as 'the way that did not work', and not a failure as such. Such thinking builds up the spirit of winning and keep us fighting till we meet success. [Above two images are in Public Domain, taken from Wikimedia Commons]

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