“Thucydides Revisited”

Thucydides –

The secret to happiness is freedom.

The secret to freedom is courage!*

 

*(Could not find my Herodotus, so this Gary-Come-Lately perforce had to do.  What came of a brief swim in this wonderful stream the notion: both happiness and freedom are learned – though some say earned – and the coin by which each is paid is just plain courage.  And courage is the most easily earned of all.  Fear facing is something we have to unlearn as we age up from infancy. Some call that process education.  Why? Dunno.  I fear it is part and parcel of the manner by which we learn words to fool ourselves into thinking we are “reasonable.”  Education builds legacies and the worst such like over-varnished wood builds up layers of scum which are difficult to remove.    That legacy in some lasts forever.  Those so entwined think themselves ensconced in maturity and thus insulated from further learning.And how is courage purchased, you might wonder?  Just standing up and saying Yes or No at the appropriate points and then going out and doing – sometimes the exact opposite of nature’s – and nurture’s – best bent and sometimes by sublimation of the hero’s role for a greater goal.  George III Rex Britannia had a favorite bromide when presented with a conundrum: he’d fetch a Marine and ask him.  Now, not to say courage is purely and solely in the parish of Sea Tigers as some call them, but the learning of such is imbued quite remarkably amongst that number.  When presented with an ethical point, a problem if you will, in freedom  and happiness, just consult courage for your answer.  Rarely, I have found, is that path easy or wide.  And even less often are the stones in said path smooth.  Maybe it’s the bruises that tell you you are on the right highway.  Once again: I dunno.  But I do know that Courage’s false brother Bravery lurks about freedom, happiness and courage like a purring pussycat with sharp claws and sharper teeth. That should teach me about reading old Greeks.)

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