Shishu Sansaar | Children's Stories
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There is a very famous Greek myth highlighting the consequences of excessive greed. There was a king named Midas. He so much worshipped gold that once to grant a wish by the god Dionysus, he asked that everything he touched should turn to gold. Midas' wish was granted.
Now from then on everything Midas touched did turn to gold, he was very happy to see this. He was so excited that he started touching everything just to see the thing turning into gold as fun. And thus he became a very wealthy man. However, there were some unexpected consequences also of his greed. Since literally everything he touched turned into gold, he touched many things and he was very happy to see them turning into gold. When he got tired of seeing this, he went to eat food. But as soon as he touched the food he loved to taste, turned into gold and he could no longer taste it. And the people whose company he loved, he could no longer enjoy their company because they were also turned into solid gold, too.
The greatest shock to him was when his only child, his lovely daughter came running and climbed up in his arms. As he touched her she was also turned into gold. Seeing her turned into gold, the King started weeping.
However, throughout the ages, it seems that the consequences of desiring and attaining excessive wealth seem to have been lessened. Instead of being punished with loss, as King Midas experienced in the story, it appears that excessive greed is now revered -- subconsciously if not consciously. We all remember the famous line from the 1987 movie "Wall Street," starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." Regrettably, rather than adhering to the lessons learned from King Midas, we are witnessing more examples of greed in all facets of society. Perhaps one of the most disturbing trends is that of financial elder abuse, where people of low moral character are taking advantage of vulnerable, aging people who may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease and, as a result, are not aware or capable of managing their financial affairs.
And greed, of course, is not limited to the pursuit of riches. Greed, for instance, can be for anything, food, possessions, fame, children etc etc. Suffice it to say that greed is not a core value of The Way of good lifestyle . On the contrary, greed is the antithesis of living a truly happy, healthy, meaningful life. At what point will the Greek god Dionysus help us realize that our greed has unexpected consequences? And where will this presumed need for excess ultimately lead us?
We learn from the King Midas story that "greed is not good," and that "all that glitters is not gold" and to "be careful what you wish for." This powerful and meaningful story has been passed down through the generations and was crafted to warn us about excessive greed.
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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/04/13