Gold is a metal that everyone may want to have because of its value. The aura it gives produces impression of glory, power and honor. You might be wondering how this piece of metal achieved its value. This piece of metal is mysterious in its own way. We have grown in a world with full of stories and rich literature. They became part of what we are now, so let us go back being a kid and recall those stories that introduced us to gold.
You probably heard during childhood that gold can cause humans to be greedy and forgetful on the things that are important to their hearts, like King Midas. He wished to be the most successful and richest man in the world. He has the ultimate desire to acquire more gold so when Dionysus offered him a wish; he wished to have the “golden touch”. This was the power that would fulfill his desire for more gold. Everything that he touched turned into gold even his food, servants and clothing.
Though King Midas was a glutton for riches, he always loved his only daughter. One day his daughter came and running toward him to embrace him. King Midas forgot about the golden touch and turned his daughter into gold. Seeing his daughter turned into a monument of gold broke his heart. He was devastated and begged Dionysus to take the golden touch back.
Greek Mythology: Aphrodite, Paris and the Golden Apple
Do you remember the ten years Trojan War? Many believed that it was all for Helena, but that conclusion is partially true. The Trojan War started because of a Golden Apple.
It all began when the goddess of discord, Eris, was not invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the Sea Nymph Thetis; their marriage was held in the Mountain of Pelion in Thessaly, which is Part of central Greece.
Eris was so mad about such treatment she got from her fellow gods. She had the idea of revenge, so she went to the wedding and threw a golden apple (known as the fruit of temptation) that fell on the banquet table. The golden apple was with the inscription: “To the fairest of all”. Athena, Hera and Aphrodite strongly claimed the golden apple, for themselves.
It stirred up a great competition among Athena, Hera and Aphrodite, that troubled many gods including Zeus. Knowing the conflict it may cost him, he assigned this task to a mortal named, Paris of Troy. He was the most handsome man during that time. Zeus gave Paris the golden apple and asked him to offer it to the goddess who he finds the fairest. Goddesses made their offer to bribe Paris. Athena offered the greatest wisdom anyone could have; Hera promised him a great honor and power, while Aphrodite, offered him, Helena of Sparta. It was love at first sight so Paris chose the offer of Aphrodite so he can be with the woman who stole his heart. Aphrodite won the golden apple while Paris had to face the greatest wars of his life because of his decision. Then the next thing we know, there was the Epic Trojan War.
Jewish Folktale: Purse of Gold
This is a beautiful yet simple piece of literature telling us that a honest man gets rewarded in the right time while dishonest man will be trapped by his own words.
A peasant found a purse made of leather, when he had opened it; the purse contained 100 pieces of gold. After a while of opening it, a merchant shouted, “I will reward the one who returns my purse!”
The peasant without a doubt returned the purse to its owner. He said, “Here, I found your purse, may I have the reward you promised?” The merchant denied the reward and accused the peasant of stealing the gold pieces from him. He said, “Why there are only 100 pieces of gold left? The purse I dropped had 200 pieces of gold in it. Forget the reward and go way, or I’ll call the authorities to report you”.
The peasant stood his ground and confronted the greedy merchant to take their matter to the court.
In the court, both parties had their chance to tell their stories. The judge patiently listened to both sides even it took a while. The judge finally made his decision, he said, “The statements of both sides appear to be true and justice can be served. Merchant, since you mentioned that the purse you lost contained 200 pieces of gold. You lost a huge amount however, the purse that the peasant found had only 100 pieces of gold. Therefore, this purse couldn’t be the one you lost.
The judge gave the purse with 100 pieces of gold to the peasant.
The Legend of El Dorado
El Dorado was a mythical city of gold. Between 1530 and 1650, many Europeans traveled the unknown to find this mysterious city and, many died in the hopes that they will find El Dorado. Many believed that El Dorado was located in the unexplored places of South America. It was never found. It only existed in the polluted imaginations of those explorers.
This madness started because of a tradition held by Muisca people of Cundinamarca. The tradition was the king, would cover his whole body with sap then the gold powder. He will take a canoe to the center of Lake Guatavita and while the citizens are watching, the king would leap into the lake, coming out clean. That was how they start their great festival. This tradition gave conquistadors the idea that there was not only one king but a lot of them and the city must be made of gold, also with so much treasure that will make them wealthy for the rest of their lives. They conquered the city but did not meet their expectation.
The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs
This is a simple story about how greediness can lead you to misfortune and wrong decisions.
A couple owned a very unique goose who gives them a golden egg every morning. This ability of their goose made the couple rich. Their wealth brought greed to their hearts.
One day, man told his wife the possibility of getting all the golden eggs at once, doing so, would make them richer much faster.
The wife agreed with her husband so they decided to cut the goose open, to their surprise, they found nothing. They lost the very thing that laid golden eggs for them.
What have we learned from these stories
We learned that greed results to nothing. Don’t get the stories wrong, acquiring gold is a good thing. It is the wrong intention and love for gold that makes it wrong. Gold is a very useful piece of metal with so many stories to tell. It is a perfect investment because of the stable value it holds. When gold investing is done accordingly, it will result to more profit and wealth that you can use as an instrument to make the lives of the people around you better.