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Reflections on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

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The great philosopher, Plato, back in the days of the ancient Greek civilization, concluded that man as a species can only draw from what his senses take about his surroundings. This includes his social relationships, eating habits, spiritual beliefs, and the many other attributes that make a person who they are. This theory/observation is very accurate about man back then and is also seen in everyday life even today. People are constantly leaving their imaginary caves in search of their inner-self and it begins in early childhood.

Children, for example, are brought up as exact duplicates of their parents; their parents, in some cases, are together because they share the same views on politics, moral values, and society. Parents make an attempt to mold their children into who they are, as functional figures in this society, as well-rounded individuals, but they must let their child grow older and be their own person. It is inevitable. Eventually the child will grow older and break away from their parents’ tradition to form their own values and beliefs and this is the allegory of the cave as how it works today and how it has been working since mankind first came about.

One must become their own person. This doesn’t mean that one must totally disregard the beliefs and morals of their parental figures, yet eventually they must think for themselves and stop living under the ideals of someone that they might consider “old fashioned.” It takes a strong understanding of one’s surroundings combined with the natural human desire to grow in order to break away and find oneself. One must find his/her own life and live it how they desire. This is what the allegory of the cave is about.

Plato, a genius, but one might agree that he was just an observer. One must take a look around. He or she must realize their own dissatisfaction for their settings and have that burning curiosity in their heart to take a leap outside of the boundaries of their mundane rituals and experience something new. It makes people wiser, more forgiving, and happier. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to see the world? Who doesn’t want to be able to accept people for the way they are? With age comes curiosity and experimentation and the desire to get the most from life possible.

This allegory has had a direct affect on my life .I consider myself a very well rounded, open person, because I too saw the tunnel, and what was on the other side. High school was where my experimentation with finding my inner-self began and by my sophomore year in college, I think I have stumbled on something very interesting and I still want to tweak my findings and hone them to what I want to become. It is a shame that many people my age still has yet to take that trek to the other side of the tunnel.

If there were any way possible that I could aid them in seeing the light, I would devote my life to it. As I age, I see life more and more as a beautiful gift. It is a gift that will be with me forever, but one that I could throw away at anytime. Life must be cherished and perceived from all possible standpoints for one to consider themselves wise and knowledgeable people.

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