Socrates and the Happy Traveler
on the Road to Athens

A Classic Tale of Adventure and Learning

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Socrates on the Road to Athens

It was a beautiful day in Athens. Socrates had risen early and was strolling on one of the country roads on the outskirts of the great city.
He had spent a good part of the morning taking in the beauty of the country side. He had also been pondering on the concept of objective reality, and thinking of the stories he could write about it. But now his thinking was interrupted by a grumble from his stomach.

His wife had packed a delicious light lunch of cold meats, cheese and bread. And he began to wonder if it was near enough to lunch time to begin eating. He looked at the angle of the sun. He thought it was almost close enough to lunch time to begin eating. He was in the process of deciding that there was enough food to eat over two sittings when his reveries and his stomach were interrupted. A happy traveler came strolling down the road towards him.

The happy traveler hailed the old philosopher and greeted him warmly. The sage returned the greeting. The traveler and Master Soc discussed the quickest way to Athens from where they were. The traveler was about to leave his new found friend when he seemed to change his mind.

The happy traveler asked the Greek master: “What are the people of Athens like?” the philosopher looked the fellow up and down and asked: “Where are you from?” The traveler replied:” I hail from Pyrus. I have lived there my entire life. I have heard many tales of Athens, and finally decided it was time to travel there and see it for myself.” Socrates then asked the fellow: “Well what are the people of Pyrus like?”
The happy traveler said: “Oh the people of Pyrus are warm, friendly, caring and generally well mannered. They welcome strangers with open arms. It is a good town because the people who live there are good people.”

The sage smiled: “My friend you will find that the people of Athens are very similar to those of Pyrus.” Happy the traveler then took his leave of Socrates and set off for Athens.

Socrates was about to sit down to eat the first half of his lunch when he was again interrupted by a second traveler.
Their interaction was similar to that of the first. The fellow asked the quickest way to Athens and then asked the old philosopher what the people of Athens were like. Again the philosopher asked the second traveler where he was from. Low and behold the second traveler was also from Pyrus.

But when Socrates asked the fellow what the people of Pyrus were like, the second traveler responded: “Oh they are mean. They are greedy and selfish. No one in Pyrus has any time for strangers. They spite and snub their neighbours. It is a terrible place, full of low-life and nastiness. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I have lived there my entire life.”

Master Soc smacked his lips, he was thinking of one of the stories of wisdom he had heard as a child. Socrates sighed: “I am sorry to tell you this young fellow. The people of Athens are exactly as those of Pyrus.”

Socrates in the Country-Side

The second traveler looked crestfallen. He thanked the sage for his warning and set off in the direction he came from. He told the old philosopher he would give Athens a miss. The Greek master wished him luck in his search for a town of good people.

When the fellow was gone Socrates found a nice place to sit down and eat all of his lunch. It was now past lunch time and his stomach was growling its disapproval at having been delayed for so long. He also realized, of all the tales he had been thinking about, what had just happened was a great tale for explaining objective reality.

With Love and Laughter,
the Adventure Learning Happy Travelers

An Adventure Learning Initiative

A question to ponder:

Which traveler are you? Look over your life and identify a situation where you were the first traveler. Now find a time when you were the second traveler. Make a special effort to feel the difference, not only in your attitude but in your physiology. Now switch between the two quickly, allow yourself to be causal. Allow yourself to acknowledge how flexible your perception, awareness and attitudes are. See how it is all about your own choice.

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