Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Socratic approach

This morning, as I was getting ready to run yet again to the institute, the post that I made day before yesterday, titled "I want to win", suddenly came back to my mind. Even as I was wondering whether I would be late for class or not, I was reminded of a short story that I had read elsewhere. I felt that I must share it with whoever I can.

A man once went to Socrates to ask him what it took for a man to be successful. Socrates dismissed him at first saying that the person was not serious enough. But on being continuously persisted upon, Socrates asked him to come the next morning to the river bank where Socrates used to take his bath.

Although a bit surprised, the man agreed. The next morning, the man met Socrates at the agreed place. Socrates asked him to follow him a few steps into the river to find out the answer. The man did as he was told. When both were in water which reached up till their waists, the powerful Socrates suddenly lunged at the man and dragged him underwater. Caught unprepared, the man was soon fighting for breath. He thrashed about in the water as much as he could, but to no avail. Just when he thought the mad Socrates would drown him, a bit of the pressure was relaxed and his head broke out of the surface.

Even before he could get his breath back, Socrates once again forced the poor fellow's head into the water. The man had had enough and fought with all his might to break free, but to no avail. The strong Socrates just held him in there...long enough to almost drown the seeker of knowledge.

Just when the man thought his time had come, Socrates let his neck go free. The man immediately came out of water and collapsed on the river bank, gasping for every breath of air that his screaming lungs could take in.

"What was that for?" the man cried once he'd gotten his breath back.

"Well," asked Socrates smiling, "how did you feel in there?"

"I could've died there had you not released me!!"

"And what was the one thing that you would have given everything in the world for when you were in there?" asked Socrates, the wise.

"Air. I would do anything for a breath of air when I was down there."

"There is your answer," laughed Socrates. "Untill and unless you do not want success as badly as you wanted air when you were fighting for your life down there, you will never get it."

2 comments:

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