#13 Phaeton and Price of Irresponsibility

Phaeton is son of the Ancient Greek sun god, Helios.

Helios drives the sun everyday from east to west, with his chariot. His duty is very important, the horses are hard to control, they are very strong beasts.

Phaeton is having some trouble. He can’t convince his friends that he is related with Helios. He goes and speaks with Helios for a proof of relation. Helios has many proposals but Phaeton doesn’t listen. He wants to drive the chariot of sun for one day. Helios warns him, even Zeus himself is not capable of doing that, the chariot is very hard to manage, but not being able to convince, he gives the chariot.

Phaeton drives the chariot, burns some part of the world, freezes another part. The chariot is very hard to handle, it swings here and there. Seeing the danger, Zeus strikes Phaeton with a lightning bolt, killing him.

I think there are two points to this story.

  • It is not “being nice” to give somebody something that they shouldn’t possess. Especially things that effect the other people. There are always people around that ask for things that are not appropriate, and get frustrated when they can’t have it, even going further and claiming they are deprived from their rights. The answer should just be “no”. Knowing borders is also an ability, if somebody doesn’t know, the society should show.
  • Getting possession of something doesn’t mean that now you have more. Outreach is sometimes a curse.

So… Nepotism ended badly for

  • The world, as it was burnt
  • Helios, as he lost his son
  • Phaeton, as he lost his life
  • Zeus, as he had to kill somebody

Who won? Nobody



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