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Friday, September 7, 2012

You old Influencer!


So I have always loved to read about Socrates from his student Plato.
Socrates was executed (399 years BC) at the old age of 70 for corrupting young minds and being influential.
They sentenced him to death and then made him drink the poisonous hemlock.
He left no written words.  No auto-biography.
What we know about Socrates we have to glean from other people.



Before we think Socrates was unusual in his being a threat ........a threat of influence while  old , think about yourself.  Not Ron Paul.  Yourself.
Are you influential?  Is there anybody out there who wishes to "dismiss you" as old and not with it...or old and out of date.....or out of touch.....or downright stupid?
Is there anybody out there marginalizing you?    If so, you have remained influential.  Good for you!

I'm remembering when my grandparents....all 3 of them...were bit by bit marginalized and "dismissed"  by my parents.  Oh, my parents loved them.....well, they loved their OWN parents, not the other person's parents.... so lack of love wasn't the problem.  The problem was my grandparents were influential without even trying!  And my parents did not want the youth being corrupted by thinking individuals who thought differently than they did!!
So there was a subtle , and sometimes not so subtle, campaign waged against my grandparents' input and influence.  It didn't work but temporarily, just like killing Socrates did not destroy his influence.  I actually think about my grandparents a LOT, now that I am old.  And I remember their words and deeds.  They have shining halo's and my parents' halo's look a little tarnished.  But maybe that is from the beam in my own eye.

My friend Ellen dropped by to see me one day  a few weeks before Christmas a couple of years ago.  She told me there was a crisis in her home.  She and Vernon ( in their  70's)  had received a big box from one on their sons.  This son, she confided, had not spoken to either one of them for 15 years because they had sided with his now ex-wife in the divorce that had taken place.  Now suddenly and without warning, they received a big box from him.  She told me it was still sitting there in the living room unopened because they were afraid to open it for fear it might be a bomb or something.

I think her visit to me was to just alert someone to what may have happened if their home were suddenly leveled with them in it!

Yes, I think the threat of hemlock casts a shadow, even today.

Enjoy your influence, even if nobody else does,
Thanks for visiting,
Riverwatch



PS  Vernon bravely opened the box a couple of weeks later and it was filled with nice presents.  I guess that makes up for 15 years of rejection and a Big Scare.  Let's hope so.  Or there's no moving forward for this Planet of the People!