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February 11, 2016

2016 – Know Yourself

by wictseblog

by Jordan C. Lofton


Ruins of the Temple of Apollo – Delphi

Imagine living in 600 B.C. in Delphi, Greece.  As you walk through the town the Temple of Apollo is a landmark you pass frequently.  It is the central part of the city, and pilgrims come from near and far to pay their respects to the gods.  You enter the forecourt and along each of the walls are images with Greek inscriptions.  As you walk around the court you read these “Delphi maxims” one by one.  “Obey the law,” “Respect your parents,” “Praise virtue,” “Use time sparingly.”  You pause for a moment before each maxim to ponder its truth.  Step by step you move through the temple until you get to an inscription which reads, “Know thyself.”  Here you stop.


Greek inscription of the Delphi maxim “Know thyself.”

Three hundred years after you stand in this spot, Plato himself will stand in contemplation of this simple maxim.  What did the sages mean when they wrote it?  What does it mean to apply this?

In 2016, WICT explores this same question.  This year’s theme is “Know Yourself.”  Throughout the year on the WICT Southeast blog we’ll ask for guest bloggers to help us explore this topic more deeply.  We look forward to helping each of you know yourself a little better this year, and in turn getting to know the real you better, too.

Here are some quotes from the ancients and how they reflected on the call to “Know Thyself.”

  • “No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. No man is free who cannot command himself.”  Pythagoras
  • “Observe all men; thy self most.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” – Sun Tzu
  • “You’re the only kind of knowledge, They don’t teach at any college, You’re an education in yourself …” – Harry Warren, Al Dubin (You’re An Education)
  • The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination …. until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life. – Iyanla Vanzant


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