He had a daughter, Sophia. He loved her very much and would take her, along with him, on walks in and around the city. People sneered at this because it was an activity reserved for a man and his son, not his daughter. But Theo did not mind. He really enjoyed his walks with Sophie because she asked him a lot of questions about a lot of things that she observed along the way.
Theo answered all of Sophie’s questions and taught her the names of everything he knew. She grew to appreciate knowledge, and so she studied very broadly to know more about more things.
Theo then had another daughter, Sunesis. Now he had two daughters and no son. His respect in society was starting to be questioned. His wife was now being stigmatized among the women. Some of them talked negatively about her to their husbands and somehow convinced them to stop being good friends with Theo.
This was seen as very ridiculous to Theo, who was engrossed in spending time with his daughter, Sunesis. She had a curiosity that was even deeper than her sister’s. She not only wanted to know what things were, but why they were, and how they worked. He took delight in explaining these things to her, and in debating ideas with her, back and forth, as she grew older before his eyes.
After a very long while, Theo had a son –the son of his old age. He was called Phronesis and he was loved by everyone in the home, especially by his sisters Sophia and Sunesis. They taught him everything they knew and held nothing back.
Sophia even went as far as teaching him the different parts of the human body, especially the female one, which she knew better. Sunesis taught him how these parts all worked, all their different sensations, and essentially ‘what made them tick’.
Phronesis used this knowledge to his advantage and, because of this; he became a “serial lover”. All the girls adored and chased after him. It didn’t help that he was handsome, very much so! He was also a hustler; always out there making things happen. He restored his father’s respect and also increased his wealth because he knew the laws of trade and understood how business worked in the land, and wasn’t afraid to put his knowledge and understanding to good use.
He learnt a lot from his sisters. From Sophia, he learnt what things were and the laws guiding them. From Sunesis, he understood the intricacies of things, how they worked and how to work them. He attacked the world and he conquered!
With everything going well for Phronesis, he became proud and somewhat disconnected from his family. He figured he had better results to show than they did, despite all their wisdom, so he could live without them. He then moved away to another city and took a wife there for himself. But he sadly realized that he wasn’t doing so well in business as he used to back home. He knew he could do much better, but for some reason wasn’t able to. This depressed him deeply, and affected his relationship with his wife.
One day, his sisters decided to pay him a visit. They got to his home and met his wife, who complained to them about his depression and the growing distance between them. Not long after, Phronesis got back home from another “failed” day in the market place.
He was pleased to see his sisters there, but also a little ashamed as he would have preferred they met him in a much more prosperous state. He explained to them how he had been failing in the market place since he got to this new city. While he was still speaking, Sophie interrupted to point out that “the people here are quite different from those back home. Their culture is different and so is their way of conducting business”. Sunesis agreed with her and went on to explain, to him, the intricacies of the culture and how he was supposed to weave in certain new behaviours in his interaction with the people, especially in the market place, if he wanted to be really successful in business. “When in Rome, she said, “behave like the Romans to win them over”.
Phronesis’ eyes were opened. He went ahead to do as his sisters had advised, and he became hugely successful, as a result, and his marriage began to flourish as well.
He returned home, after a while, to thank his sisters and to visit his parents. He told his dad everything that had happened and how his sisters came to his aid. This pleased Theo. He was so proud of his children and called them to himself to praise them for coming together, as one, to solve a problem.
He told them that this was how he always intended it to be. That they were all wise in their own ways, but that ultimate wisdom came about when they got together to: identify a problem, understand the problem and how to solve it, and then go ahead and solve that problem.
“Knowledge, understanding, and the application of both, which is practical wisdom, is the perfect mix”, he said. “And that represents you Sophia, you Sunesis, and you my dear Phronesis. Make sure you all stick together and work together. And never forget your father, the man who taught you all these things –the source of all your wisdom”.
They took their father’s advice and lived in this manner, making Theo the most admired father in the land.
Photo Credit: Konstantin Sutyagin | Dreamstime.com