In the Apology, Socrates introduces the idea of the good Life, which has three main elements. First, one must never do wrong even when one is wronged. That is one should not repay injustice with injustice, or return a harm for a harm both of which can cause harm to oneself. Second, one must seek wisdom, by valuing the good opinions of the few who are wise and not the worthless ones from the many who are ignorant. Listening to the wrong opinion can bring harm to oneself and corrupt one’s soul making life not worth living. However, life is only worth living if one is just even though the many can put one to death. Third, the good Life leads to happiness. In Crito, Socrates is seen sleeping peacefully by Plato in his jail cell which indicates that he was happy with the life he had led.
Socrates demonstrated the good life most significantly by practicing philosophy. He went searching and making inquiries of anyone who he thought was wise. He did so in accordance with the god and not to fulfill his personal desires. He remained committed to philosophy even after he was sentenced to death. The only life worth living is the examined one. We act on decisions that bring more despair than happiness but we can learn from them and as a result gain knowledge.
If Socrates had chosen exile he could have continued to do philosophy. He refused because constantly moving would have been very unpleasant and he would not have been happy. He exemplified the good Life by keeping his agreement to obey the laws of Athens and the decisions made by the courts and in doing so decided not to escape from jail. If he had escaped, with the help of Plato he could have lived a relatively comfortable life without financial worries. However, his interest was in living rightly and not living in luxury. Knowing that the laws were not at fault, by breaking the agreement he would have been destroying the laws, hence doing an unjust act.
In conclusion, Socrates remained true to himself and his beliefs and at the end was at peace with the life he had led.