A young man once approached Socrates and asked to be given knowledge and understanding. Socrates took him down to the seashore, led him into the water and forced his head under the waves. The youth struggled and when his resistance had nearly stopped, Socrates dragged him up on the shore.
Later, the youth asked why Socrates had acted as he did.
“When you were under the water, what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?” asked Socrates.
“Air,” was the reply.
“When you want knowledge and understanding as badly as you wanted air,” said Socrates, “you won’t have to ask anyone to give it to you.”