Saracens were visited by philosophy journalist and writer Jules Evans this week, when the ‘Philosophy of Life’ author delivered a lecture to over 20 Saracens players.
Jules was invited by Saracens David Jones (himself an ex-Philosophy student) to speak with the players about how ancient philosophy, virtue ethics and the Greeks’ ideas of the good life can help Saracens players in the world of professional sport, and Evans was impressed with reaction of the Saracens players to some of the ideas he introduced to them.
“Sportspeople, on a daily basis, are faced with the questions that Socrates first raised: is it worth being an ethical person? What is the appropriate trade-off between external and internal goods? What does it mean to succeed at life? How do we cope with external pressures and still maintain a good character?” explained Evans in his online blog after Tuesday’s visit.
“After the talk, several players came up and shook my hand, which was heart-warming, because I’d wondered how my talk would go down, as a small philosopher in a world of big athletes. I came away having learned something from the team about strength. If even rugby players can learn to take care of themselves and each other, if they can learn to find the right balance between banter and vulnerability, between pressure and acceptance, there’s hope for us all.
29 year-old Nils Mordt was one of the twenty plus players in attendance and the versatile pivot enjoyed the lecture so much that he has now began reading Evans’ latst work ‘Philosophy for Life’.
“The meeting was very insightful. Jules made us look at our everyday lives and how we react to things in a slightly different way” Mordt said.
“The thing I took away from it most was that if there is something that you feel you react negatively about, or get angry with in certain situations or you find yourself getting down in certain situations there is an opportunity to ask why you do that?”
“Meeting like this can give you completely different perspective, as rugby and professional sport can insular; you spend your day thinking what you do as a player and as a club in 100% correct, but having somebody outside of sport who doesn’t necessarily know what you do for a living can offer you a alternative way of looking at how you live your life and make yourself a better person”.
“It’s very refreshing and it definitely adds to us as individuals and I suppose in tern if you are a better person or a happier person in your personal life, then you can give little more in a team environment.”
“I’ve got his book now and I’m just starting to read it; it is something that certainly interests me” added Mordt.
For more information about Jules’ work visit his website >> http://philosophyforlife.org/