Socrates And A Young Man

One day, Socrates was walking along the Mediterranean and a young man went up to him and asked, “Socrates, how do I become successful?”

“Follow me,” he replied.

He continued to walk into the ocean and the young man followed. Soon Socrates took hold of his head and gently pushed his head under water. At first the young man did not respond.

“Maybe he is christening me in success,” he thought.

Soon, however, he could not breathe. He struggled to get free. The harder he tried to get free of Socrates’ grasp, the harder Socrates held him down. Finally, needing air to survive, the young boy mustered all the strength in his body and flailed his arms and broke free of Socrates’ grasp.

“What? Are you crazy,” the boy shouted. “You could have killed me. I almost drowned.”

Socrates, in a calm voice, said to the boy, “When you want – no – need success as much as you did air, you will find a way to get it. You will muster all the strength and willpower in your body to achieve your task, if success is what you need to survive.”

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