A Society Grows Great When Old Men Plant Trees

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A Society Grows Great When Old Men Plant Trees
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“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Old Greek Proverb

This maxim, coming from Ancient Greece, reflects on how a society can effectively prosper in the future. The Greek civilization, being one of the old “high civilizations”, placed a very high value on philosophy and considered thought. It has influenced many facets of our modern democracy, philosophy, education, and sciences. It is no wonder that such sayings as the above would come out of it and still hold true to modern day.

This quote reminds everyone that altruism is essential for a society to prosper. By thinking of the future generations even if you’re not going to enjoy the fruits of your labor, the community will definitely reach greater heights. When an old man plants trees, he does not live long enough to see it grow and bear fruit. Still, he does it for the future generations.

A society becomes successful if it becomes selfless and responsible. It is the strongest form of altruism to not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor and not receive any reward for your actions. It’s as simple as doing something that you won’t benefit from.

Most people plant trees to reap the rewards in the future in the form of shade or fruits. It’s a natural human inclination to want something in return for one’s actions. Some may argue that this kind of great society does not exist today, especially with the problems that modern societies from all parts of the world are experiencing. However, one does not have to be a leader to build a great society. By practicing altruism in your daily life, you can help in changing the community and contributing to the future generation.




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