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Words of Wisdom

Of Courage and Righteousness – Selections from “The Apology of Socrates” by Plato (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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The venerated Socrates (vegetarian) was born in Athens, Greece circa 470 BC. Many people consider him to be the father of Western philosophy. Others think of Him as an insightful teacher and an enlightened Master.

During a lecture in Costa Rica in 1989, Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan) spoke of the sacrifices that the saints, including Socrates (vegetarian), made to enlighten people and why they are the greatest peacemakers.

“All the saints in the past worked very hard to enlighten people; even though by doing so, they had to endure many kinds of criticism, misunderstandings, and hardships, sometimes even risking their lives, such as in the case of Jesus and Socrates… Also, Buddha – many people wanted to kill Him, also tried to blacken His name; but despite all of this difficulty, the saints always endure for the sake of people. The saints are the greatest peace makers, the greatest politicians, who always bring peace into the world – the ‘king without any throne.’ Because they don't need anything in this world.”

Today, we would like to present excerpts from Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates,” where Socrates courageously chooses not to let his friends or children plead for his life but defends himself with honor and reason.

“I, through the whole of my life, if I have done anything in public, shall be found to be a man, and the very same in private, who has never made a concession to any one contrary to justice, neither to any other, nor to any one of these whom my calumniators say are my disciples.”

“‘O Athenians! have relatives, and three sons, one now grown up, and two boys: I shall not, however, bring any one of them forward and implore you to acquit me.’ Why, then, shall I not do this? Not from contumacy, O Athenians! nor disrespect toward you. Whether or not I am undaunted at the prospect of death is another question; but, out of regard to my own character, and yours, and that of the whole city, it does not appear to me to be honorable that I should do anything of this kind at my age, and with the reputation I have, whether true or false.”
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