Theagenes: Olympic Wrestler
Theagenes was famous in Greek history for his prowress as a wrestler. It is reputed that at age 9 he spotted the statue of a god in the marketplace in Thasos that somehow challenged him to wrestle it off its moorings. He broke it off and carried it home. Later his punishment consisted of only carrying it back.
As an adult Theagenes won the wrestling crown in the early Olympics. No competitor was ever able to defeat him. This deeply affected one of his opponents. After Theagenes’ death this continuously envious opponent was constantly irritated to see Theagenes’ statue in the town where he had broken off a statue at age nine. Maybe he could defeat him symbolically now. In his rage the competitor attacked the statue of Theagenes, wrestling it off the base. In the process the statue toppled and fell onto the envious opponent, killing him.
We don’t know how accurate this account is but we do know that envy and jealousy will hurt us more than the person we envy. Rare is the athlete in our current Olympics who can genuinely congratulate someone who defeated him or her. Just as rare is the person in daily life who actually can give credit to someone who is doing a better job. We each have an ability in which we shine, and we each need to honor the abilities of others where they shine.
The right attitude will help to keep things sunny.