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Socrates’ “Apology” and the Challenge of Not Fitting In

An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou

At different stages of our lives we have all experienced the challenge of not being quite as other people have expected us or wanted us to be. At times, parents, teachers, siblings, spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, our children, our students, our church, or the society at large seem to have their own idea of who we should be, what we should do, how we should be behaving, or even what and how we should be thinking.

Often, we have tried to please them, and shape ourselves up according to their wishes, particularly if those who demanded our conformity were people we loved, respected, and felt deeply connected with. For a while, this may have seemed to work, and give us the comfort of belonging. But with time, we may have started noticing that the conformity started corroding our spirit and make our hearts sad. Soon the practice of not singing our own song began to deprive us from our creative and joyous energy and leave us dry, and apathetic.

“How can we get out of this state?” we ask now. But the answer might not be as easy or as obvious as we may like it to be.

In this seminar, through the story of the Athenian Philosopher Socrates, we will explore the essence of what happened then, what happens now, and assess the measure of the responsibility we all have to live our own lives, for the Happiness which is Personal as well as Universal.

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