Tag Archives: hero

The Most Important Choice of All

Suppose there is a genie with the power to turn back time to before you were born. She gives you the opportunity to decide who you want to be. Would you choose to be you? If so, does this show that you have a healthy self-esteem, or does it show that you think too highly of yourself? Suppose you have to choose to be somebody or something else. Who or what would you choose to be and why? In the Republic, Plato raises the question of reincarnation, the view that when you die you are reborn again as someone or something else. When he asks one hero of Greek mythology, Odysseus, what he would like to be in his next life, Odysseus replies that he would like to be a swan. Plato praises Odysseus’ choice, while criticizing people who choose to be rich, or famous, or powerful. Why do you suppose Odysseus chooses to be a swan, and why do you think Plato criticizes the other choices?