Courage Boys, a new segment on The Glenn Beck Program, features stories to inspire and leave you feeling hopeful. In this age of social media and unprecedented access and sharing, it’s easy to feel insignificant and under attack — like you can’t make a difference. But the truth is you can — we all can.
By sharing stories of courage and strength, we can use the technology at our fingertips to spread encouragement and confidence. Making a difference is not only possible, but something we’re all capable of accomplishing.
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During the Peloponnesian War, six admirals were accused of abandoning many of their men, leaving them to drown in the water. Back safely in Athens, the admirals stood trial together before a group of 50 men.
Their accuser urged those listening to find the admirals guilty, collectively, rather than trying them individually. The council of men loudly agreed.
As an afterthought, it was asked if any opposed. One man arose, and the crowd was silenced. The man's name was Socrates.
Socrates (469 - 399 BC) the Greek philosopher is forced to commit suicide in prison by drinking hemlock, surrounded by his grieving friends and followers, 399 BC. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Walking to the front, he asked, "Is Athens not a city of laws? If by simple majority our laws can be ignored, then what, when they turn on you? We desire justice, yes. But from our deepest desires often spring our dead list hate. These men may be guilty in breaking the laws of Athens, but will we be less guilty if we break the law to kill them, or should they be tried separately as the law demands?"
The accuser walked out, and lots were not cast that day, allowing the men to receive a fair trial.
Years later, after Athens lost the Peloponnesian War, the Spartan king hand-picked 30 Athenians to rule in Athens --- they were tyrants. They killed, exiled and robbed thousands, and the people drove them out after a year of terror. A few of the tyrants had been students of Socrates.
In the Athenian rage, they demanded justice from somebody. And many Athenians blamed Socrates since he had taught the young men. He was accused of corrupting the youth and teaching new gods. When they tried him before a court, he made his case --- but lost.
You see, he was guilty. He had taught the youth to question everything, including their government and their gods. Socrates was sentenced to death by poison, Hemlock, and he wanted to die in prison. When his good friend visited him with a way to escape, Socrates declined.
Resting his hand on his friend's shoulder, Socrates looked into his eyes. "What of our city?" he asked. "If the verdicts of her courts have no force, I die in confidence knowing that I am the wisest man alive for I know one thing. And that is, I know nothing."
And so, Socrates taught a valuable lesson: Let all be equal before the law, even when it is you.