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Philosophers Squared — 147 Delphic maxims.

The 7 Sages of Greece

The 7 Sages of Greece found buried at Pompeii

Sage tip 96, Take good care of yourself, appears to be among the most obvious of behaviors, because without a healthy body and a sound mind you don’t have access to all the powers which you might naturally use.

Your natural body gives you plenty of clues of the kinds of actions you should not perform. It warns you that you are in danger when you look over the edge of a high cliff by creating uncomfortable willies in your chest. It warns you when you are getting close to a fire with pain in your flesh that is too close to the flames.

It warns you when you are near dangerous animals who are in an angry mood, and in a different situation when some animals, sometimes human ones, are looking at you in a predatory way and analyzing if they can capture you without getting hurt themselves.

It was 1955 and I remember driving my 41 Chevy coup just a little faster than I should and singing the song they were playing when I left the highly promoted but pitiful dance hall at Potlatch, Idaho. It was midnight, and I was flying across the rolling Palouse Hills of Eastern Washington back to Pullman where I was a sophomore at WSC. A song rolled over and over in my head. It was Faron Young’s Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young. I suggest you listen to it and feel the “truth” being blasted out at you.

“I want to live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory
I want to live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory
Don’t want slow walkin’ or sad singin’ let ’em have a jubilee
I want to leave a lot of happy women a thinking pretty thoughts of me
I want to live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory”

It was only a half-hour drive back to college when it happened. I thought, “That’s a stupid song. That’s really bad advice. It makes people want to do things that will get them into a lot of trouble, and it will make a lot of other people hate them.” Then I thought, “If I drive off of the road, and get killed, what will my buddies think.?…? Well, it will probably go like this. ‘Hey, did you hear Chuck got killed last night? How’d it happen? He was going too fast and didn’t make a curve. Oh, … too bad, he had such a cool car. … What’s for breakfast?'” Well, I thought, that’s about the way it will probably go, and the beautiful memories will last about that long too.

Since that day, I have done quite a few dangerous things, but I like to think that I did them with skill and caution. I’ll be 84 next week and I hope you make it this long. I’ve enjoyed it! Good luck!

Take good care of yourself!


Originally the 147 tips were posted in about 500 BC in Delphi, Greece. They are credited to The Seven Sages of Delphi who were: ThalesPittacusBiasSolonChilonCleobulus, (the 7th sage varied between Pythagoras and MysonAnacharisisPerianderPamphyslusLeophantesAcusilaosScabras), and sometimes an 8th sage, Aesop, was added.