Socrates’ Wise Response to His Angry Wife: A Lesson in Humor and Forgiveness

Socrates’ second spouse possessed an exceedingly fiery temperament and frequently rebuked Socrates. After all, Socrates, being three decades her senior, typically exhibited forbearance toward her.

One fine day, a number of companions arrived at their abode to seek elucidation on specific principles. The discourse was animated, with each individual expressing their viewpoints. Socrates became so engrossed that he neglected his culinary duties.

The wife escorted the children outdoors to engage in play, and prior to departing, she explicitly instructed him to prepare a repast and await their return. But now, time had slipped away, rendering any action futile, compelling him to endure her outburst.

As anticipated, upon the wife’s return and her discovery of his failure to cook, she promptly unleashed her fury, berating Socrates.

Ordinarily, Socrates would bear this silently, allowing his wife to vent her anger, and all would be well. Unexpectedly, this time he could no longer bear it, engaging in a confrontation with his wife, and subsequently leading several friends into his study.

The friends were taken aback. Socrates had never argued with his wife, nor dared to contradict her. What had transpired today, and what would follow? None dared to speculate, instead, they followed Socrates into the study.

The wife seethed with anger, finding it inconceivable that Socrates would dare to retort. The more she ruminated in the kitchen, the greater her fury grew. Finally, she emerged from the kitchen, carrying a basin of water, forcefully opening the study door and dousing Socrates with its contents.

All were petrified, unsure of how to proceed. However, Socrates carried on as if nothing had happened, wiping his face with his hands and remarking to his friend, “A tremendous ‘thunder’ lies ahead. I have merely conjured a strong gust, and torrential rain will inevitably ensue. It is the natural order.” The law, which we have just discussed, has now unfolded before me.”

Upon hearing this, laughter erupted from everyone, even his wife, who laughed heartily. She playfully slapped his shoulder and departed to prepare a lavish lunch for Socrates and his friends.

Addressing problems with humor and embracing merriment to erase discontent may indeed be the epitome of wisdom.

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