BUT WHAT says Socrates?–”One man finds pleasure in improving his land, another his horses. My pleasure lies in seeing that I myself grow better day by day.
– From The Philosophy of Epictetus CLIII
There’s a reason why, when it came time for Socrates to accept his fate–and in turn, his death sentence–he was perfectly ready to go. Much unlike the others around him, who struggled and wept during the last few minutes of his life, Socrates felt sorry for them, not the other way around.
And it’s because he was ready to die. He lived every day like it was his last, and every day aimed to improve, understand himself and what role he plays in the world, without any days off. And those are the noblest of ambitions.