Socrates: 5 Important Life Lessons

Many consider Socrates to be the father of philosophy. Discover some of his ideas in this article. 
Socrates: 5 important life lessons

Many people see Socrates as the founder of philosophy. He was born in 469 BC. His father, Sophroniscus, was a bricklayer. Phaenarete, his mother was a midwife. Despite his humble origins, Socrates’ life was full of lessons that are still valuable today.

In fact, this great philosopher lived like many other Athenians. He followed in his father’s footsteps for a while and served as a soldier in the Greek army. Most people knew him as a hard worker and a very patient man.

However, as he became famous as a thinker and nature lover, he also faced a number of detractors. This is because he advocated some strict rules.

Within this ethical model there was no room for dishonesty, dishonesty, or double standards. He was persecuted and made a fool of his ideas. He was eventually sentenced to commit suicide. His last phase of life turned out to be a fantastic life lesson.

1. Modesty: one of Socrates’ most important life lessons

Socrates was not a beautiful man. He was very small and had a big belly. In addition, he had rather rough features, notably his large, bulging eyes and his ugly nose. The other philosophers made fun of him because of his outward appearance.

Yet the “father of philosophy” did not care too much about this. On the contrary; he paid little to no attention to these critiques. In fact, he always wore the same coat and lived a very modest life. He hardly ate and drank.

One philosopher even said that no slave would want to be treated like Socrates treated himself. Plato, on the other hand, would wash his feet and put on his shoes.

Socrates with index finger in the air

2. Respect for the individuality of others

One of the most interesting aspects of this philosopher’s life is that he never committed anything to paper. Although everyone thought he had fantastic ideas, he always gave oral lessons.

He believed that everyone should develop their own ideas. If he were to write down his ideas, it would affect the intellectual formation of other people. 

Socrates used a more original teaching method. He talked to people for hours, exposing his sense of irony and also his special gift for looking at subjects from a different perspective.

Socrates two dolls

3. Listen

Socrates larded his lessons with subtlety and intelligence. Some people still use his teaching method, but unfortunately not as often as we would like. The Socrates method has inspired some of history’s great educators, such as Jean Piaget.

The philosopher would start a conversation by questioning his interlocutor. He asked them questions that led to the conclusion that their arguments were not very consistent or substantiated. That way everyone would discover the truth for themselves. Socrates only listened, and only asked questions.

4. Full exposure of reality

Socrates said, “ I know I know nothing. This was not a statement to draw attention to himself. This philosopher was completely open minded in a unique way.

He simply acknowledged that he did not have a monopoly on the truth. He asked questions rather than seeking answers. He also widened the perspective on certain topics before starting to wrap them up.

Socrates also said, “ Know thyself .”  In other words, he didn’t try to put people into words. Instead, he encouraged us to discover ourselves – one of the most fascinating things a person can do.

5. Sense of humor

Socrates also had a great sense of humor. This was reflected in anecdotes about his wife, Xanthippe. She was 30 years younger than him and famous for her complex personality.

Someone once asked Socrates why he married her and he replied, “ I think it’s great that I can learn from someone with such a bad temper. There is no better school for learning to interact with other people than that.

Socrates Xanthippe

Socrates and Xanthippe

When he was sentenced to death, his wife paid him a visit and burst into tears. Socrates then told her, “ Don’t cry – we are all naturally condemned to death.

His wife replied, But you have been wrongly convicted .”  Socrates refuted this with Would you think the situation would be less bad if they had rightly sentenced me to death?

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