Ancient Greeks invented the Olympics, and they also invented Phelps’ cupping, and, no, we’re not talking about a rude gesture involving the swimmer’s testicles or his companion’s chest. We’re talking Hippocrates, you know, that ancient Greek guy who formulated the medical code.
More on the subject here, with a pinch of salt, or should we say a dab of alcohol and a lick of fire.
That’s right, the Ancient Greeks came up with the Olympics, Phelps’ cupping treatment and the Hippocratic Oath, not to mention the marathon run, the notion of the Hero, the Odyssey, and a bunch of other world-famous ideas and practises.
Then again, so did the Babylonians and the Sumerians and Mayans, invent a number of things, some of them groundbreaking — the wheel, incredibly accurate astral calendars, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the first roof terrace gardens — but these people are not around anymore to enjoy the fruits of their accomplishments. Their successors did a shit job of existing and passed on, and so did their estates, pass on to other people.
See, bad management isn’t something you brush off like a hangover, waking up the next day and expecting to be in control of the assets you managed yesterday. If you’ve screwed things up with your approach, you lose authority over whatever it was you were managing, and the assets eventually pass on, and so does other people’s attention, not to mention their credit, goodwill, and willingness to trade and do business with you.
Something to think about as the Rio Olympics continue.
From the bays of Pearl Coast,
Fish a ton of oysters, strike a shiny pearl.
PS – The Greeks have fared better than the Babylonians and other extinct people. The Hellenic culture is still around, going less than strong, but still present, delectably so in some areas including food, tourism, entertainment, (some) sports, the magical Greek Isles, the enduring Diaspora, all of which are unique and sensational in their own right. In that respect, kudos are in order. Not everyone manages to remain in existence for thousands of years, let alone excel in niche areas. But I wouldn’t rest on these laurels too comfortably. If the Olympics teach us anything, it’s that glory is hard-earned, and that there is always someone looking to do a better job than any given champion on any given day. There are challengers everywhere, and competitors better beware of respites and intermissions that last too long, lest they lose their leading positions, whoever they may be and whatever they may be doing. No matter your past achievements, if you rest on your laurels, on your assets and rights, you risk having them snatched away. An achievement’s worst enemy is entitlement. Goodness knows how many people, poor and rich, lost what they had on account of good old entitlement. Not to mention bad performances — string a few of those together and not only you lose everyone’s confidence, you also end up eating their wake, and rightfully so.
PS 2 – There is no greatest argument than tangible results. Fail to get results and you’ve lost the argument. Caveat competitor. Kai eis anotera i.e. Citius, Altius, Fortius, otherwise (having failed to soar) rest in peace, in the shadow of retirement, or, if you’ve really let things slip, in the shadow of those who are displacing you. Not so comfortable, that last prospect.
PS 3 – Sarcasm and combativeness are good. They keep everyone honest, especially in times of vacillation and doubt. They focus the mind like nothing else, if one is inclined to read the signs on the wall and do what has to be done to not end up as one — a cautionary tale for others to heed — and remain in the race; to be the one to chase after, someone to emulate, if not surpass in due course, but only after one has given everything on the altar of achievement, not a moment earlier.
PS 4 – Humor is also good, especially the self-deprecating kind. It keeps the world healthy and a competitor honest and formidable. More people should employ it . . . Now let’s return our attention to the Olympics, and please don’t forget to suck the vile humors out of your skin once in a while, making space for the good humors.
From your post-scriptively caustic and fortifying Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.