Lagura: Feats and foibles of the famous and wise

Fr. Flor Lagura SVD

“Searching for an Honest Man”

People called him, Diogenes, “the Dog” not only because he belonged to a group called “Cynics” or “disciples of the dog” (from the Greek kynos-orges), but also because he lived like one.

The Cynics were anti-social, discarding their society’s norms and way of life. For them, Diogenes in particular, nature is the model for life, hence, they “did their things” in full public view, just like dogs.

Diogenes refused to dwell in a normal house, opting to live in a barrel or a tub, just like the filthy animals who proliferated in the streets of Athens.

However, one unique activity marked him as either wise or weird, or even both. In broad daylight, prowling through the city’s streets while holding a lighted lamp on one hand and a cane with the other, Diogenes would peer into the face of whomever he would meet while searching for an honest man.

We do not know if he succeeded in finding an upright man. We do know, however, that in the streets and sidewalks of many big cities, men, women and even children live like dogs while dogs live pampered lives in the comfort of mansions and multi-million homes.

In the meanwhile, the search for an honest man goes on, with some promise that one day there will be success.