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This is a test

Apparently Socrates, the dude credited with the founding of Western philosophy, came up with this idea of a Super-Duper Magic Ring (Greek term from the S-man himself), aka the Ring of Gyges. Slip that baby on and—poof!—you’re invisible.

As a kid I imagined such a ring, and thought it would be so very very cool to have one. I’d put it on my middle finger, then sneak around and spy on people, and do whatever I felt like doing. Because no one—not even my mother, who was not limited to eyes in the back of her head, but possessed a circle of Tom Radar Receptors all the way around her noggin (plus supersonic ears, to boot)—yes, NO ONE NOT EVEN MY MOTHER would see a thing I did. Freedom!

But Socrates wasn’t thinking of my childhood fantasies when he came up with the idea of the Ring of Gyres (different millennium, BTW). He thought of the ring as a test: If you were invisible, and no one could see anything you did, and there was absolutely no chance of consequences, or public shaming on social media (a great worry 2,400 years ago in Greece), or pushback of any kind, then what you did chose to do would be an indicator of your values, your character, the rock-bottom core of who you are. No one’s watching. Whatcha gonna do?

BIG QUESTION from the S-man!

Better question, at least for you writers out there: What would your protagonist do if you slipped the Ring of Gyges on their finger?