Tag Archives: diogenes

SHORT STORY: Alexander the Great

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What is happiness? Can it be summarized on a formula? Let me refer the historic meeting between Alexander, the great Macedonian conqueror and the scantily clad Greek philosopher, Diogenes, who lived in a large ceramic jar on the streets of Sinope and thought nothing bad of begging for food and defecating in public.

    Happiness, for Alexander, was all about relishing the best of food, clothing, wealth and ever increasing power. Diogenes, on the other hand, believed that happiness is attained by leading a life of simplicity, free from the constant struggle, for wealth and power.

    When Alexander went to meet Diogenes, to offer him good food, wealth and accommodation, the wise man snapped back to everyone’s astonishment, ‘Move over! I am enjoying the sunshine. Don’t block it with your shadow!’

    The shattered prince was later heard saying, ‘If I were not Alexander, I would be happy to be Diogenes!’ It was apparent that Alexander was in search of happiness.

    Years later, at 32, on his death bed Alexander is said to have made three dying wishes of which the second is the most thought provoking and that was. ‘When my coffin is being carried to the grave, let the entire path leading to the graveyard be strewn with all the wealth of gems and precious stones that I have conquered and collected. Let the world know that I cannot take even a farthing with me. Ultimately, all these precious stones will turn into dust someday just like my body.’

    All our lives we keep running after silver, gold and diamond but the real happiness lies somewhere else which Alexander the Great learnt from Diogenes.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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