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Life Lessons Learned By Odysseus: Homer

1358 words - 5 pages

People learn lessons every day. They can either learn them the easy way, or they can learn them the hard way. Homer documented Odysseus’ journey back to Ithaca in The Odyssey. In this journey, Odysseus learns several life lessons that applied to our lives.
At one time in our lives, Odysseus and I have learned how vital using self-control can be. When Odysseus wanted to listen to the Sirens after the goddess Circe told him he shouldn’t, that was a lack of self-control on his part. Consequently, in order to not stray toward the Siren’s beautiful island, he needed to be tied to the mast of his ship. His crew literally restrained him and held him down so he wouldn’t disentangle himself. Due to the beeswax in their ears, the crew was unaffected by the Siren’s lovely tune. Odysseus also had to use self-control when he ventured to Lord Helios’ island, where the best cows in the world resided. After specific instruction of not to travel that way, what happened? Of course, he sailed there. All of Odysseus’ men greedily feasted on the cows; however, Odysseus did not. He displayed an example of self-control. Zeus looked down upon the men who ate the cattle with pity, and struck their ship with a lightning bolt. The powerful blast exterminated every single man but Odysseus; therefore, making Polyphemus’ prayer against Odysseus to Poseidon come true. I have also learned to use self-control. When I am performing poorly in sports, I sometimes want to lash out and blame my mediocre performance on others, or just quit and walk out. But I know that if I keep my head up, things will come around; it’s just hard to realize it at the time. Last summer, I was playing terribly in a golf tournament. In fact, my performance was so humiliating I was thinking about quitting in the middle of the round. As we made the turn to tee off on the Back Nine, my dad told me to keep my head held high; consequently, I started improving to the point of which I was enjoying myself as much as I usually do playing golf. I learned not to become infuriated over a small problem, and that lesson has helped me in several ways. Also, when I hear bad news, it’s hard for me to listen at first. I start asking questions and panicking instantaneously. When I heard my grandma acquired pancreatic cancer a few years ago, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I went ballistic; I started shooting questions at my parents, wondering if she was okay, but forgot take the time to listen to my parents further explanation. If I had listened at first, it probably would have helped me to digest more of the situation. Using self-control is important, and in the moment it matters, utilizing it makes those times much more productive.
Along with self-control, Odysseus and I have also learned fighting doesn’t solve anything. Armies of Ithaca, Sparta, and other Greek townships dueled in Troy for ten years, fighting constantly for one woman. The Greeks lost thousands of men in battle, just so Helen could return...

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