Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Damon and Pythias

Describe your favourite fairytale, myth or legend from your childhood.  Discuss why it’s your favourite and how it has influenced your beliefs and morals throughout your life so far.

I loved mythology when I was a child -- mostly Greek and Roman.  One of my favorite myths was that of Damon and Pythias.  The story is actually rather simple.  Pythias is accused of a crime by the king and sentenced to death.  He asks to go home to say goodbye to his family.  The king refuses because he's sure once released, Pythias would never return.  Damon offers to stand in Pythias' place and, if he doesn't return, suffer his fate.  The king accepts the offer. As Pythias is returning after visiting his family he is attacked by outlaws and left for dead.  Execution day comes and everyone is taunting Damon telling him what a trusting fool he has been.  Right before the execution Pythias shows up - beaten, bloody and half-dead.  The king is so impressed that Pythias returned that he sets both men free.

Damon was willing to give his life for his friend Pythias.  Pythias withstood travel when he was already half dead to save Damon.  That kind of legendary loyalty is and always has been very appealing to me.  I hold loyalty like that in extremely high esteem.  Sometimes, when misplaced, my loyalty towards others has caused me pain, but I refuse to lower my values because others take advantage.  When I look at myself in the mirror, I have to be able to like what I see.  If I were disloyal I wouldn't.  Sure, that means sometimes I've been used.  But over the years, the users have faded from my life while the person in the mirror never has.

Copyright © 2011 Denise Duggan

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