by Dwi from SMAN 24 Bandung

“The wisest persons are those who know that they know nothing.” -- Socrates

Everybody has various perceptions of what heroes are and they will affect what people think about life, about who they are, and, definitely, how they run their lives. But sometimes one person's life can also influence people in choosing their heroes. Just like me. Well, I guess it’s too private to tell how my life has been running so far (anyway, nobody wants to know), but I think that you will understand my life by reading my story.

A hero for me is someone who can raise me up, make me feel comfortable with myself as a person, encourage people to run their lives, and make them (including me) open to considering whether something is true or false. For these reasons, I chose Socrates as my hero. Besides, I really like philosophy. I have admired Socrates since my first year of senior high school.

Socrates was born in Athens, Greece in 469 BCE. He was the most mysterious person to come along in the history of philosophy. He never wrote any of his lessons down. However, his theory greatly influenced the development of philosophy in Europe. Socrates died a tragic death. His punishment was to kill himself by drinking quinine poison. He often discussed lots of philosophic matters in the town square of Athens with many of the people who were there.

The art of the Socratic discussion was the fact that he didn’t want to be seen as a lecturer. He always acted as if he didn’t know anything. He was just trying to share his mind with others and figure out what everyone thought about life. Of course, he would not have become a great philosopher if he had only listened to what people said and the answers they gave to his questions. If he had only listened, he would not have been punished. In his discussions, he always made his challengers admit the weaknesses of their arguments and question whether something was true or false.

As he had pretended to be a dull person, he forced everyone he met at that time to use their mind (we call this ‘the irony of Socrates’). He might sound very annoying, but it was his strategy to teach and to learn. He thought of Athens as a swollen horse and he was the stinger who made the Athenians furious. Socrates died in 399 BCE. Even though none of his philosophic lessons were written down, we can discover his teachings in his student, Plato's, writings.

Page created on 8/29/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/29/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Philosophy - Read more about the life and teachings of Socrates.