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The road to wisdom is difficult. It requires studiousness and careful reflection that go beyond the classroom. It is the pursuit of truth and the formation of a mind capable of critical thinking.

Your learning then, should be aimed at improving your judgement, making you more reasonable and clear-headed in your decisions, which in-turn improves your conduct and character.

The great philosopher Parmenides knew of this necessity, and in his philosophic poem, On Nature, he shared what the path should be for those who wish to begin thinking reasonably:

To be on this path means that you should learn all things:

Both the unshaken core of persuasive truth, as well as

the opinions of mortals in which there is no assured truth at all.

Parmenides understood that people prefer to follow the conventional opinions of the crowd, which contains little truth at all. He put this passage in to remind us to avoid this mistake.

He wanted them to be curious, observant, and to distinguish what he calls unshakable truths. But this isn’t easy because it requires rigorous examination, objectivity, and sometimes disagreement.

And this needs to be done all the time, whether you’re reading a book, witnessing current events, or engaged in conversation. You must question the truth of all things – even those you hold most dear. That’s what makes you wise.