Socrates was one of the founders of Western Philosophy and, some would say, the father of Moral Philosophy.
He’s famous for quotes such as “The unexamined life is not worth living,” “One thing I know, and that is that I know nothing,” and “It is not living which is of most importance, but living well.”
His devotion to teaching and sharing his wisdom was so great that he was even sentenced to death for the extent of his influence, with the leaders of Athens accusing him of corrupting the minds of their citizens by making them think for themselves and question things like organized religion.
However, despite Socrates’ contributions to Philosophy, he never actually wrote anything down.
The only reason we know of him and his teachings is through Plato, one of his disciples, who wrote down much of his life in his Dialogues.
When I learned this, it blew me away. To think that a figure of prominence like Socrates could have such influence on the world strictly through others’ accounts of him, is hard to comprehend.
In this way, Socrates is the ultimate testament to living our values and the effect that this can have on a much larger scale. If someone is able to define their values and truly live by them, even if they never create anything of tangible significance, who knows what kind of effect they can still have on the world? Socrates’ legacy was how he lived his life, and that in and of itself is incredibly significant.
Ultimately, our lives are our legacies and we should remember to see others who know this and appreciate them—not for their achievements, but for their actions.