Socrates, one of the foremost philosophers of Classical Greece, continues to make news more than two thousand years after his death. According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the great hemlock swilling thinker is still relevant.
The paper offers a nice introduction to Socrates and his influence, his life and death, before noting that we should not elevate him beyond the corporeal realm. He was very human: “a bustling, energetic, wine-swilling, man-loving, vigorous, pug-nosed, sword-bearing war veteran: a citizen of the world, a man of the streets.”
Says the paper: were he still alive, Socrates would have greeted the distracted, texting-obsessed world of today with an “I told you so” smile. “Our modern passion for fact-collection and box-ticking rather than a deep comprehension of the world around us would have horrified him too. What was the point, he said, of cataloguing the world without loving it?”
Ultimately, Socrates fell victim to pheme, trial by media. His public stock fell after the masses came to believe that he had corrupted the youth. Far from corrupting the kids, the article holds, Socrates held fast to his ideals. He stuck with core values that we would all do well to pursue. “Rather than follow the example of his accusers, we should perhaps honour Socrates’s exhortation to ‘know ourselves,’ to be individually honest, to do what we, not the next man, knows to be right. Not to hide behind the hatred of a herd, the roar of the crowd, but to aim, hard as it might be, towards the ‘good’ life.”
Whether you’re looking for life lessons, or not, the article warrants a look.