Aristotle Student of Plato and Teacher of Alexander the Great

I saw this writing challenge ‘Genius of the Ancient World’ on Ray NotBradbury which is a site that I follow and it looked like fun to me.  The idea is to use three quotes from an ancient philosopher and I chose Aristotle.  Aristotle’s words were rewritten by his students and translated many times, so a lot of the quotes that are attributed to him are often judged by others as being fake.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

Habits are learned behaviors, which can become automatic after enough repetition.  You are what you repeatedly do and qualities are acquired by acting in a particular way.  Aristotle wrote ‘Categories’ around 350 BC and in Part 8 he talks about quality.  By ‘quality’ he means that in virtue of which people are said to be such and such.  “Quality is a term that is used in many senses.  One sort of quality let us call ‘habit’ or ‘disposition’.  Habit differs from disposition in being more lasting and more firmly established.  The various kinds of knowledge and of virtue are habits, for knowledge, even when acquired only in a moderate degree, is, it is agreed, abiding in its character and difficult to displace, unless some great mental upheaval takes place, through disease or any such cause.  The virtues, also, such as justice, self-restraint, and so on, are not easily dislodged or dismissed, so as to give place to vice.”

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.

Learning anything can be hard and tedious, and it may also come with an assortment of other difficulties, but once knowledge is gained, then you are on your way to success.  If you put in the hard work that is required, it will pay off in the end.  I believe that anything that you learn is of some value, but I also believe that our education system is broken.  I can’t really say that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is why our system is broken as it is much more complicated than any single issue, but I don’t think it is helping.  Common Core is an educational initiative that was put in place in 2010 that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in English language arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade.  Common Core is not working, as measured by its own standards and metrics.  The National Report Card reveals that two-thirds of graduating seniors are not ready for college.  Seventy-five percent failed the math test and sixty-three percent failed the reading test.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Life is about making it through the darkness of night and reaching the light of day, as we will all encounter times of happiness and times of sorrow.  Everyone must learn how to get through the tough times by focusing on the light ahead. We will all go through a rough patch from time to time, encounter a tragedy, have relationship problems, etc., but you must be strong, so you are able to pull through the hard times.  Instead of dwelling on bad things, think about good things that could happen in the future.  There is no easy and definite answer for what this life has in store for you, as we are all given unique challenges and we must not engage in a defeatist self-pity syndrome where we find blame in everything, and mope about being stuck in the darkness.  As an alternative, we should cut through the clutter and find a way out of the dark woods, by putting our focus on solutions instead of our problems.

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