Poet and Hercules – Don’t be stingy with your praise

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A famous poet wanted to write a poem in praise of the merits of Hercules, but he felt that the material of Hercules was mediocre. There were no outstanding examples, and his relatives were also some unknown people; his father was a commoner, ordinary and commonplace without any war achievements, so the subject matter was too poor. When there was nothing else to write about, he left the subject and turned to the two heroes of Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux. The poet praises them as brave gladiators, models for the gods to follow, and painstakingly depicts the battle scenes in which they established their incredible feats. As a result, the poet’s praise of these two gods, who later became the constellation Gemini, takes up two-thirds of the entire work.

Hercules, who had promised to pay the poet a fee for his work, went through it but was willing to pay only a third of the fee and frankly told the poet to let Castor and Pollux pay the rest.

“Let the twin constellations in the sky pay you, and I personally, of course, still want to entertain you, so please come to my house, and we will have a delicious dinner together, the company is selected, all are my favorite friends, please do come.”

The poet agreed to go to receive his reward and to hear the words of thanks from others for the work he had written. He arrived at Hercules’s house and was greeted with a feast. The guests ate and drank with great gusto and were all pleased.

Soon after the feast began, a servant hurried to the poet’s side and bent his head to tell him that two men were asking for an audience at the door. The poet immediately left the banquet while the guests were drinking and feasting.

Upon leaving the door, the poet looked at the visitors and saw that they were the twin stars he had praised in his hymn. The two gods thanked the poet, and in return for his poem, they both told him that the house would soon collapse and urged him to escape. After hearing this, the poet ran away before he could tell Hercules the news.

The prophecy of the two gods was immediately confirmed when a beam came crashing down, and the roof lost its support and collapsed on the whole feast, smashing the cups and bowls to pieces and seriously injuring Hercules and his friends and relatives.

The poet praised the two gods, and in return, the gods saved his life. A psychologist said, “Human nature’s deepest desire is to receive the praise of others; this is what makes humans different from other animals. A person, whether an adult or a child, regardless of his occupation, desires to be respected by others and to receive their praise.” So, don’t be stingy with your praise; as long as the motive of praise is sincere, and it is worship and admiration for others, you will get others’ praise in return.

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