5 Things Greek Mythology Taught Me

Fourth Journal Entry

It started with curiosity — unquenchable questions, I thirst. Things began to change, I’ve tried to connect every aspect of life with such imagination; I see thunderstorms as the wrath of Zeus, a stray dog wandering on the street seems to be the Cerberus of Hades, the vulcanizing shop I pass by everyday appears to be the chamber of Hephaestus, and much more. The allure it brings gave color to my life, as if mine didn’t have enough. You may consider these stories a work of fiction, but their undertones reflect true-to-life lessons for us people.

Here are five things I’ve learned from Greek mythology:

1.Life is unfair — The Story of Medusa and Poseidon
Life is truly unfair; sometimes it may favor the ones undeserving, and misfortune will come to those who are righteous. In some versions, it wasn’t Medusa’s fault why she was punished by Athena, it was Poseidon’s. Medusa was a victim of Poseidon’s malice, she was maltreated sexually in Athena’s temple — Athena outraged and furious, turned Medusa into a Gorgon, a curse she had to live for eternity.

“Life sucksssss.”

2.Vanity vs. Morality — The Judgement of Paris
Did you know what caused the Trojan war? Vanity! During the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, Eris — the goddess of discord, threw a golden apple engraved “For the fairest” upon the gods; Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena were so intrigued, they quarreled. Paris — the prince of Troy, was chosen by Zeus to pick who’s worthy of the golden apple among the three, and so he picked Aphrodite, and in return, she gave him the most beautiful girl on Earth, Helen, and thus the Trojan war began. The three goddesses argued upon getting the golden apple as if they were playing King of the Hill, thinking that with the golden apple, they are labeled as the fairest — the most beautiful amongst all, a stepping-stone for their pride to build up even more, but at the end, it only sparked war which led to the ignition of Troy.

“For the m̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶g̶u̶l̶l̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ fairest.”

3.Risk it all for the one you love — Orpheus and Eurydice
When it comes to the person we love, nothing matters more than them. Even if it means a visit to the underworld to retrieve your significant other’s soul, you’d risk it all (Well, at least in Greek Mythology). Orpheus, grieving and mourning over his bride’s death — Eurydice, could not endure her absence anymore, and went to the underworld to take her back. The chaos and uproars of the underworld were calmed through his songs, and so was Hades, who was so overwhelmed that he gave Eurydice back to him, but there’s one condition, he would not look back to see her as she follows him, but unfortunately, Orpheus did, so Eurydice was taken back into the darkness, and all that’s left was the echoes of her goodbyes. Tragic.

4.The unconditional love of a mother — Demeter and Persephone
The story of the abduction of Persephone conveys the unconditional love of a mother, that a child’s absence will drive a mother crazy; she’ll wait every season just for you to return, and will seek your presence in every corner of the world just to lay her eyes upon you, for a child is the mother’s heart that keeps her life going.

“To the best mom ever! PS: Sorry I plucked your flowers.”

5. Curiosity sometimes leads us to tragedy — Pandora’s box
Just because our mind tells us to do it, doesn’t mean we should. No matter how tempting it is, let obedience pull us back to safety. Pandora’s story is very similar to the story of Adam and Eve; Pandora opened the box that Zeus gave to her, thinking that it might contain silk dresses, jewelry, and gold, but upon opening the lid, horrors came out all shaped like moths which stung Pandora,and all that’s left within the box was hope, life truly has a hopeful undertone.

This is what keeps me going, that despite this pain and suffering I’m going through, these stories erase all the tormented part of life, stories that keep me motivated to find that hope within my “Pandora’s box.”