A young man came to Socrates and said, “Mr. Socrates, I want knowledge. Show me how I can have knowledge.”
“Son, how badly do you want knowledge?” asked the philosopher.
“Oh, Mr. Socrates, I want knowledge more than anything else in the world,” he said.
“I repeat,” Socrates said, “How much do you want it? Come with me, son.”
They went down to the shore and waded in until the water came up to their necks. Then the philosopher put his hand on the head of the young man and pushed him under the water. He squirmed; he struggled desperately, but Socrates kept him under.
Finally, just as the boy thought he would drown, Socrates released his hold and let him up. They went back to the bank and sat down. Socrates said, “Son, when you were under the water, what did you want more than any other one thing in the world?”
He replied, “Air! What I wanted was air!”
Socrates made his point: “When you want knowledge as much as you wanted air under the water, then you will get knowledge.”
Job made a similar statement when he said, “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).
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