socrates cover frontWe are caked with hypocrisy, like the village child with dirt, and we conceal our faults and our inconsistencies with soft speech and insincerity. Socrates won’t stand this; he calls a spade a spade, and is determined to improve the villages he visits.

The world is changing, and customs which may have been good, or at least harmless once, are now mischievous and destructive. We must test all our customs and habits, and see whether in modern conditions they tend to improve our health, our comfort, our well-being and the out-turn of our fields. Keep the good customs by all means and stick to them at all costs, but the bad ones must be rooted out and new ways learnt which will do us good.

Viewed by many as the founding figure of Western philosophy, Greek philosopher Socrates (469-399 B.C.) is best known as a questioner of everything and everyone. His style of teaching—immortalized as the Socratic Method—involved not conveying knowledge but rather asking question after clarifying question until his students arrived at their own understanding. He wrote nothing himself, so all that is known about him is filtered through the writings of a few contemporaries and followers, most of all, his student Plato. In his 1791 autobiography Benjamin Franklin summed up Socrates in a single line: “Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

The author, Mr. F. L. Brayne, was posted as Deputy Commissioner in the Gurgaon district of Punjab state and later as Commissioner of Rural Reconstruction in Punjab in Pre-Independence India.

Category: English Titles