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Saturday, July 7, 2018



Have you heard of Alexander the Great? Alexander the Great is remembered in history as the greatest military commanders of all time. This legend about Alexander shows how the great commander learnt some valuable lessons even though a little late.

Alexander was the son of Philip II, the King of a small kingdom called Macedon in Ancient Greece. After his father’s death, Alexander was crowned the King of Macedon.

Young Alexander had only one goal, that of conquering the world! He spent his life attacking nearby kingdoms and capturing them. He amassed a lot of wealth and riches due to these campaigns but was never satisfied. He always wanted more. He lost many brave soldiers in battle and killed many innocent people in his conquests but never thought much of it as he felt the cause was worthwhile. During these battles, he got wounded many times and escaped death a few times, but he battled on as if the cause was much greater than even his life.

While returning from one such campaign, Alexander fell seriously ill. No one knows for sure what caused his illness; historians and medical experts say there is evidence that it could have been the strain of the long drawn campaigns or an infection he didn’t bother to treat on time, or poisoning by some enemies posing as friends! Alexander’s physician at that time was known to be the best in the land. But his treatment had no effect on the ailing King. As Alexander’s condition worsened, more physicians were called in from all over the world, but the King’s condition continued to deteriorate. Soon Alexander realised that death was certain. In his bed, and with nothing else to do, he introspected on his short life and realised many things that he had missed earlier. He then asked for a final meeting with his close associates. When his friends gathered the dying King narrated his three last wishes.

His first wish was that only his physicians carry his coffin home! His second wish was that gold, silver, and gems from his treasury be strewn in the path when his coffin was being taken to the tomb! His third and last wish was that when he died, his hands be placed hanging outside his coffin!

All the wishes sounded very strange and very uncharacteristic of the Great Alexander. The listeners wondered if the King was serious. Seeing their perplexed faces, the dying King explained.

He wanted his physicians to carry his coffin home so that people would realise that even the best physicians could do nothing when death came. He had never thought of his life or that of others precious but now realised it had been his greatest mistake. He now wished that everyone respected life since it was the greatest gift of all.

He wanted gold, silver, and gems from his treasury to be strewn in the path when his coffin was being taken to the tomb to show people that though he had spent his life acquiring them, it had been a useless pursuit. All the wealth was useless to him now since he wouldn’t be alive to enjoy it.

He then explained his last wish. He wanted his hands to be placed outside the coffin so that people would see that though he had conquered a good portion of the world, and was arguable the richest man in the world, he would still be going empty handed, just how he had come!

These solemn truths, perhaps, were of little use to the great Alexander in his deathbed but it has given many people who followed food for thought and principles to live their life on. Hope it is so in your case to.

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