I have been rereading Socrates' Apologia - a required reading back when I was in the university. The Apologia (or the Apology) is written by Plato in behalf of Socrates. It covers Socrates' defense of himself before he was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock, a kind of poison.
The Apology of Socrates is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defends himself against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions (from the Greek απολογία).
Rereading it with new perspectives - older, perhaps a little (just a wee bit) wiser from that 17year-old me - has given me new thoughts: The reason why Socrates was sentenced to death is because others around him could not accept the fact that they are not as wise as they thought themselves to be.
They were a pretentious lot who have stopped asking questions. They believe that they have all the answers - and that everything that needed to be learned, they knew.
This belief - call it self-confidence, "kabibohan", self-belief - was the ultimate in their lives: it is the pillar on which their whole concept of their own self is built.
And Socrates came and debunked the very pillar of their lives.
And he came with proof: through questions and answers, he uncovered the very weakness of the people's assumptions about themselves on how wise, good, intelligent they are.
He didn't necessarily show them they were useless - he just showed them that what they have is not everything there is to have.
But I guess, that too simply was too deep and profound for his accusers.
Once in a while, someone comes into our lives to tell us that the things we know are not enough. That there is more to learn. And that there is more to consider than just the formulaic, textbook considerations of the past.
It is disruptive. It truly is.
But it also opens up opportunities to improve.
That is, if one accepts it and does not rebel against the realization that there is more.
But sometimes, that person is seen too much of a distraction, a divisive factor, a gadfly, a subversive, a hard-headed arse who needs to be eliminated by all costs...
All because that person simply showed - and proved - that what one knows now is not enough and that there is more to learn if only one would listen.
How we react to that person who shows us our inadequacies is a measure of our own openness to learning more, of wanting to be more.
What I found in my 15 years of working is that the people who are most unwilling to admit their inadequacies and be open to new things are the ones who are most insecure.
They are the ones who would slander other people and defame them to get what they want, create an "aura" and "facade" of supposed kindness, and feign innocence.
They sow seeds of distrust within a team, create a "reputation" that they are the glue that holds the team together, and name others as "divisive" and "unprofessional".
One could only pity them.
In the same way that Socrates may have felt pity towards his accusers.
The jury will vote.
Someone will drink the hemlock.
Someone will take the blame.
Someone will walk away with the labels "divisive", "subversive", "hardheaded", "inconsiderate", and "ineffective" attached to his name.
All because the jury had been fooled by facades and pretensions of one accuser who believes herself to be "enough", "mature enough", "wise enough", and "good enough".
What a pitiful state for a human being.
Not for the accused - but for the accuser.
One could only hope that she be given a long, interesting life.