When I was little my parents and teachers told me that the decisions you make in life impact the way your life plans out. They told me how the right attitude with these changes can affect you and others around you. The first thing that went through my head after that was; that’s absolutely garbage. How could I, a 9 year old at the time have anything to do with the world- a huge and seemingly uncontrollable force I had only limited experience with. But, as the years grew on, I grew up and I came face to face with my new favorite obsession- Greek Mythology. I got lost in the glorified stories of powerful gods, beautiful goddesses and abundant heroes. But as my love for these stories grew all through elementary school and well, up to now I have realized how what my parents and teachers said all those years ago actually makes sense. Behind these stories, all these gods had to make choices that changed the way the world is.
Like how they impacted the formation of the world, I realized my very own actions have a similar effect. In a way, we are all gods and goddesses in our own life and the choices we make and the attitude we have changes everything. How does any of this make sense? Well in order to truly understand the importance of our actions, we are going to glide through the adventures of these mythology heroes and look at just how they changed the world. Then, we’ll zoom back to the present and look at the heroes in our own world and how their decisions impacted our existence. With the mention of Greek Mythology we have to acknowledge Zeus.
Zeus grew up in a cave, outcasted by society but grew and became a powerful god. He married Metis, a very smart goddess who helped him trick and conquer Kronos -his evil power hungry dad- by making him sick. With the sickness, Kronos threw up his kids he consumed in order to keep power; These gods were Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter. Cronus surrendered and Zeus split his powers with his siblings. The Titans, the original gods, were angry about being ruled by the Olympians and a war went on between the Olympians and the Titans. The Titans lost and Zeus locked them up in Tartarus. We can see how Zeus and the way he set out in life helped him and his siblings have a better control of their power. (D’aulaire) Another life influencer in Greek mythology and one of the most important god to the humans was Prometheus- a titan and the creator of men. He made man from clay and gave them godly gifts. Prometheus asked Zeus if he could help his creations with the gift of fire. Zeus said no but Prometheus didn’t stop there, he could not leave his creations alone. In order to help them survive, he stole fire from the gods and taught humans about metalworking in order to help them survive and let them thrive. When the Zeus found out about his betrayal, he decided to punish Prometheus. Prometheus was tied to a pole on top of a high mountain and every day during sunset an Eagle would come and eat his liver…. Yes everyday! Since he was a immortal, it would always regenerate and get eaten the next day.
Even though he met with a terrible fate, he helped us humans against the odds of the world. (“10”) Of course Zeus still wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to punish the mortals like he punished Prometheus- that’s when Pandora comes in. Pandora was created by Hephaestus with the beauty of Aphrodite as well as immense curiosity. When she came to life, Zeus handed her a box and told her not to open it and was sent to earth. When she went down to earth, all the mortals loved her and they were attracted to her beauty. She was still curious about the box so she opened it and it spewed all sorts of miseries. She closed the box before hope escaped. Zeus thought that introducing these things would make people good but they were cruel. He was disgusted with all of them and decided to drown them all in a flood (don’t we all wish we could do that with our problems)- all but one. (D’aulaire) Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, was the only one not affected by the nasty evils. Prometheus warned his son about the upcoming flood. He made an ark to survive. After the flood, the earth was bare and Zeus felt pity for them. He gave them the ability to create new people. They took stones and threw it over their shoulders to make new people.
Their choice to fight through the destruction was worth it in the end and created newer, stronger, better humans. I mean look at us now (insert person eating doughnut and on the couch). I for one, totally agree. (Pollard) Now that we have seen these mythological gods in action, we will now go to talk about influential people in our society that had an impact on the world just like the Greek gods themselves had. Here are a few examples of everyday civilians who grew to impact the world. Steve Jobs, the creator of a very successful business called Apple had to make many decisions in order to grow. He was a normal man- he lived with his parents and worked in his parent’s garage. He went through flunking high school, he even got fired from his own company. He got hired later on and with all of these things he ended up creating a multibillion dollar company. He made decisions that changed the way we use technology today. (Levy) Martin Luther King Jr was an advocate for racial equality and fought peacefully to get to where he is. He wanted to fight for African Americans to live peacefully with whites. He was thrown in jail multiple times and people were against what he was trying to do. His sacrifices changed the way the world functioned and he ultimately made the world better by spreading love. (Biography.com) Now we will continue on with a more somber note.
There’s also always a negative side to everything and we see there are people in both Greek mythology and the real world who negatively affected the world with their hatred. Eris In Greek mythology was the goddess of discord and was known for causing problems. When she wasn’t invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, she put the Apple of Discord with the words “fairest one” in the party. Long story short, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite fought over it and cause a series of events that lead to the Trojan war. (“Eris”) Adolf Hitler in the real world spread his hate, far and wide. He was responsible with the death of millions of Jews, separation of groups of people and isolation of humanity. His decisions, like Eris caused war and hatred. (Lukacs) That is not a world I want to live in and I realized I could be a part of making the world better. This is because everyone, our voices and actions alone affect the way the world turns out. Whether it’s bringing the world closer, spreading love or inventing something that can positively change our future, our life is filled with endless opportunities and it is our choice on how we use them. After all these years, I finally found out I’m not just a small speck of gray in a world of colors-I’m actually a light within a world of candles and with one choice,one movement- I can light up the world. No matter how cheesy that sounds, just know that we all have the power to change the world for the better.
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