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Sterling W. Sill

A young man came to Socrates one time and said, "Mr. Socrates, I have come 1,600 miles to talk to you about wisdom and learning." He said, "You are a man of wisdom and learning, and I would like to be a man of wisdom and learning, and I would like to have you teach me how to be a man of wisdom and learning."

Socrates said, "Come follow me," and he led the way down to the seashore.  They waded out into the water up to their waists, and then Socrates turned on his friend and held his head under the water. His friend struggled and kicked and bucked and tried to get away, but Socrates held him down.  Now if you hold someone's head under the water long enough, he will eventually become fairly peaceable.  And after this man had stopped struggling, Socrates laid him out on the bank to dry, and he went back to the market place.

After the young man had dried out a little bit, he came back to Socrates to find the reason for this rather unusual behavior, Socrates said to him,  "When your head was under the water what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?" And the man said, "More than anything else, I wanted air." Socrates said, "All right, when you want wisdom and learning like you wanted air, you won't have to ask anybody to give it to you." 

Sterling W. Sill, BYU Speeches,   February 9, 1965,   p.9