|1. What can result from never leaving the cave?
As we are seeing with to many children sitting in front of their televisions and/or computers, early-onset type II diabetes.
As much as the above is a smart aleck statement, there is an element of truth in it as the children are almost chained in front of their television/monitor and are being fed a “reality” of someone else’s choosing. By never leaving the confines of the cave, one does not develop the ability to question for themselves the true nature of the world. Though perhaps the television is better than the cave as it should permit the children to see the details of the given character unlike the sillouttes presented in the cave. As Jackie Robinson said, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.” Plato is urging us to emerge from our own individual caves, as we all have caves with our own particular rooms, to experience the world to make our own judgements it rather than being at the mercy of someone else interpretation.
1. What did you--personally--learn from this essay?
Much of what I the piece reinforced what I already had knowledge of and hence I learned little from the essay.
However one point di d reach out and touched my being. As someone that suffers from clinical anxiety, the Master’s response to Niu regarding anxiety gives me much to ponder about. Much like “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from Franklin Roosevelt’s frist innagural address, the Master is urging me to look at what is wrong in the present and not what could be wrong in the future. I do spend to much time looking out in the future playing the “what if” game which does cause me much anxiety.
I found Niu’s response to be almost comical when he brings up the “point” that he doesn’t have any brothers while other men do. Why should Niu be anxious about what he has no control over? The Master’s silence to the question ruther reinforces the situation’s insignificance when he does not respond to it. As the first portion of the Serentiy Prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”