In a broad daylight, an old man with a lighted lantern in his hand was strolling around the busy marketplace. He was looking at the face of everyone with his lamp.
It attracted the people there. They wondered and wanted to know what he was searching. Some of
them followed him.
They asked the old man, “What are you looking for?”
He was silent and didn’t reply…. and busy searching the faces of the people with his lamp.
It heightened their curiosity and soon crowds of people lined up after him.
Entire market he wandered and walked back to his tub.
But the people followed…. and pressed him for an answer.
At last he opened his mouth and said, “I was looking for an honest man; but there is not a single
such man in all Athens.”
The old man’s name is Diogenes. He was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynicism.
Cynicism is one the ancient Greek philosophies practiced by Cynics. The main purpose of Cynicism is
to live with virtue, in agreement with nature.
Diogenes was a wise man, but rather considered to be an eccentric. He preferred to live in an old tub
(a large ceramic storage jar in the marketplace) and despising wealth and comfort. He himself made
a virtue of poverty. He used to beg for living and sleep in the tub.
He belongs to 4th century BCE and was born in Sinope (part of modern day Turkey). He was exiled
from Sinope on the charges of debasement of currency. He settled in Athens until his death in 323
BCE (at the age of 89).