A Philosopher On Joy

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Joy is Love

Plato had many day jobs: philosopher, mathematician and writer. On the side, he happened to be the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He had a famous teacher, Socrates, who was always in some sort of trouble.  Even today, Plato is copiously quoted and revered as one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy.  His dialogues add depth to questions relating to logic, ethics, rhetoric, and mathematics.  Weighty matters, debate fodder.

And yet, Plato’s understanding of joy can be articulated in one sentence:

Love is the joy of the good,

The wonder of the wise,

The amazement of the gods… 

Plato (427 – 347 BC)

The joyous message of Christmas came many years later, yet the fundamental nature of joy remains unchanged to this very day.  Love is the genesis of joy.  Even the wisest of humanity are humbled by the strength of love in action.

The philosopher has spoken: Joy to the world begins with love.