Daily Archives:February 14th, 2011

The Wisdom of the Ages

While walking the dog this morning, I was listening to a dramatisation of Plato’s Symposium – as one does – and Socrates had a natty little phrase which I found rather pleasing. But first, some background…

I have always been blessed with excellent eyesight, for which I am very grateful. However, Anno Domini does have a way of sneaking up on one. A couple of weeks ago, in a restaurant with some colleagues, I found that the very small writing on the ginger beer bottle was rather more legible when I held it just that little bit further away. One of my companions – of a similar vintage to myself – laughed at me and told me that he had just purchased his first reading glasses, which he then held out for me to try.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it was a turning point in my life. For the first time, I tried on somebody else’s spectacles, and the world looked clearer. And so, as I booked an eye test this morning, I took comfort from the words of Plato, who said something along the lines of:

“Wisdom begins as eyesight starts to fade.”

Most pleasing.

Of course, I then realised that the fact I have seldom needed an eye test before now, while so many of my friends have worked their way through many pairs of glasses or contact lenses, may have less pleasing implications…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser