Monday, 7 February 2011

Chris Port Blog #83. Beauty and Wisdom - The Classical Approach

© Chris Port, 2011

The beauty of youth. The wisdom of age. Life’s great trade-off. The Ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about this...

There was once a poor fishing village. No-one had any money. But the village had a prized possession - a beautiful boy. He was an Adonis. Men and women would travel for hundreds of miles just to gaze in awe at his physical perfection.

One day a messenger came. A wise old man had heard of this boy. He had asked whether his beauty was indeed perfect, and was coming to see for himself. The people were ecstatic. Wisdom and beauty, the most admired qualities, would be brought face to face in their humble village. It was a great honour.

A celebration was declared. Men fished through the night so a feast could be prepared. The streets were cleared of beggars and gaily decorated.

On the great day, the old man walked silently into the village. He was greeted by the elders. With great pride, they led him to the house of the boy. The old man waited outside. The boy was brought out. The crowd held their breath. What verdict would the wise man deliver?

The old man looked the boy up and down without a word. He looked him questioningly in the face. The boy met his look with ethereal aloofness.

Then suddenly, without warning, the old man punched the boy hard in the face. The boy fell backwards into the dust. The crowd gasped in shock. What had the wise man seen? What had so displeased him?

The boy rose painfully to his feet, hands cupped over a bleeding nose. Slowly, he took his hands away. Again, the crowd gasped. The nose was broken. His physical perfection was destroyed forever.

The boy stared at the old man through tears. Then he whispered.

“Thank you.”

Why did he thank the old man?

(By the way, just in case there are any stupid people reading this, IT’S NOT REAL. IT’S A STORY. Please don’t go around punching people in the face... even if they are better looking than you. The police will not be impressed with you rambling on about some 2,000 year-old teaching allegory [even if the victim was an arrogant tosser who needed to be taken down a peg or two]. Sorry, but some people really are thick as shit, so you have to be careful about these things...) 

Blog #69. And Today We Have Teaching of Drones. 

‘... How I long for that first soft bruise of dark
to punch their sunlit faces…’ 

Adonis reference

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