The last time I mentioned Socrates, I was applying for his job. In my humble opinion, Socrates was the greatest teacher the world has ever seen. His philosophy was fairly good, and still works for the most part. The fact that he also showed us how to use logical reasoning properly, laying the groundwork of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution wasn’t bad either. Overall, not a bad looking resume.
The fact is, very few great men could be as great as they were if it weren’t for help from others. Their parents for one thing. Perhaps the most understated assistant to history’s greatest names are the spouse. Who cleaned up after Pasteur? His wife. Who kept Einstein happy when he was a struggling clerk? His wife. First wife.
Which brings us back to Socrates. He was married. Had two kids. But I’m guessing that his family didn’t really have an interest in his work. After all, what wife or teenagers want their very foundations of reality shaken?
Especially wives. Telling a spouse that they do something wrong, whether it’s big or small, is not great marriage advice. Please don’t rinse the dishes BEFORE you put them in the washer. Why do you leave water in the saucepan? Put the jam in the SAME place in the fridge each time so I don’t have to search every time.
On the other hand, Ms. Socrates had to work hard so that Socrates could spend quality time with his students. If she’d been less supportive, Socrates may have spent more time fishing, or practicing some kind of paying trade so that her kids had more toys.
Instead, she worked hard with less. She made sure her kids were loved and nurtured enough even though their father was busy with things they didn’t understand.
I’m thinking this may be important because, if I ever do get the job of Socrates 2, then my best friend / wife could feel the same way. I’m pretty sure she’d be the perfect helpmate. She may not really care about these things, she certainly doesn’t like being challenged, and I learned long ago to never complain about how she does things. Certainly makes being married that much easier.
But frankly, I don’t think I could do the job without her. Don’t think I’d want to. After all, all this work is designed to try and save the world. But if she’s not in it, the world may simply not be worth it any more.
So, hats off to all you supportive spouses. And a tip of my toga to Ms. Socrates. Thank you for helping us all out.