“Midas (Μίδας), a King of great fortune in the Greek Mythology, had everything a King could ever wish for. His life was surrounded by luxury in a great castle, and filled with abundance. Midas, spelled by gold, spent all his days counting his gold coins. He also enjoyed covering his body with gold objects, desiring to bathe in them, and obsessed with money.”
One day, Dionysus, the god of wine, passed through the Kingdom of Midas. One of his companions, a satyr named Silenus, got delayed along the path. Silenus got tired, deciding to have some rest in the famous rose gardens surrounding King Midas ́ palace. Napping there, he was found by the King, who invited him to spend a few days at his palace. The days went by, and finally Midas brought Silenus back to Dionysus. The god of celebration, thankful to Midas for his kindness, promised Midas to satisfy any of his wishes. Midas, after a while of reflection, responded: “I hope that everything I touch becomes gold”. Dionysus warned the King, stating that he should think well about what he wished for, but Midas was certain. Obeying the King ́s wishes, Dionysus had no choice but to promise Midas that from that day on, everything he touched would turn into gold.
The following day Midas woke up eager to see if his wish would come true, extending his arm, and touching a small table immediately turning into gold. Jumping with happiness, Midas continued by touching everything around him, turning everything he touched into gold. At the breakfast table, he took a rose in his hands to smell its delicate fragrance. As you already can guess by now, the rose turned into gold, leaving Midas feeling disappointed. The same happened with his bread, and water, which made Midas feel fearful. With tears in his eyes, he hugged his daughter who had just entered the room, and she turned into a golden statue. In despair, Midas raised his arms, praying to Dionysus to remove the curse. Dionysus felt sorry for Midas, and told him to go to the river Pactolus to wash his hands. Listening to Dionysus advice this time, Midas did what he was told. After washing his hands in the river, everything went back to normal. Filled with joy, Midas hugged his beloved daughter, and decided to share his great fortune with his people. From that day on, Midas turned into a better person, generous and grateful for all goods of his life. With his help, the people of his Kingdom led a prosperous life”. (greeka.com. Quoted 14.10.2014).
Lessons of the story? Plenty:
– Be careful what you wish for – it may come true.
– Learn to appreciate the differences around you, including things that may feel small, but are important in the cycle of life.
– Listen to people, and people ́s advice (your personal advisers/trusted person/consultant, who or whatever that may be in your life/career).
– Lead with your heart, and have respect for the people around you.
– Take responsibility for your actions.
– Being greedy can be destructive for the environment.
– Being self-centered can be destructive for relationships.
– When accumulating wealth, do it for a good reason.
– When accumulating wealth, be prepared and ready to share, help, and use your wealth for increasing prosperity for everyone, thus improving other people’s lives as well.
– Money is not the key to happiness.
– Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are usually keys to (personal) development. Just make sure that you do not make mistakes that others have to pay for, or mistakes that have a disastrous effect on e.g. the environment.
And, finally: You cannot eat gold!