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The Death of Socrates

The Death of Socrates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”


When I first read about this line 2 years ago, I was quite surprise and relieved. Going myself through a separation and divorce period at that point. I was thinking that ‘Ok, so this is why I am learning a lot right now, – because my marriage has fallen apart’

However, after RE-visiting this same line today, it triggered a few other points that I have come to understand.

My first and foremost question was “Why does Socrates only refer to man that ‘will become’ philosopher ? – There have been a lot of woman philosophers – One major was Mother Theresa” … so was Socrates wrong ?

When I looked deeper in the sentence of Socrates in different ways, it shows this –

marry’ – (Figuratively)-  to unite in the closest and most endearing relation

 ‘wife’ – A married woman especially in relation to her spouse.

 ‘happy’ – content, satisfied (with or to do something)

 ‘philosopher’ – A person who lives and thinks according to a particular philosophy

(had to continue searching for the word below)

 ‘philosophy’ – Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.

Reaching this point here, I was thinking of changing the whole quote of Socrates to this –

“By all means marry; if you get a good husband/wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher”

However, it still did not make sense for me, as this will mean that only if one gets a bad husband or wife, then one will become a philosopher … again going to Mother Teresa, well she never got married, and yet she is amongst the world renowned philosopher…

According to my understanding of Living Life, and with a different perspective, I feel that indeed Socrates was not talking about marriage to a ‘woman’, or becoming a ‘philosopher’ as a person, but indeed he was referring to something that could be translated as follows –

Always do the things that you like, if you get a good result, you will be happy, if you get a bad one, you will always question yourself, and find ways to improve doing what you like

With a special note here – ‘things that you like’ can be anything from, eating a fruit, to talking to a new person, writing a blog, starting a business, getting into a relationship, etc…

While everyone has his/hers own definition of what Socrates during his lifetime, as far as I am concerned, the one I wrote above makes perfect sense for me, and I am happily sharing it with all of you around 🙂