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Men’s Junk: The Sword Of Damocles

We’ve learned everything in “Men’s Junk” from grooming to cooking tips.  This time around, it’s a little deep thinking and philosophy. I found myself thinking about this lesson quite a bit and feel like I came out a little better on the other side. Take a chance and click through for lesson they rarely teach you in school or in Bible studies.

First off, don’t assume for one minute that I possess any great repository of knowledge, in fact this one makes me feel dumb I didn’t look it up sooner. The first time I heard of the “Sword of Damocles” was in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and I didn’t get around to looking it up until yesterday. If you stay close, I’m going to lay a little knowledge on you that will make you think a little differently about your life and the lives of others.  If nothing else, this would make a great topic for a death metal song.

The Sword of Damocles is a fable, legend, maybe a myth, but definitely a lesson. It’s really not that hard to understand either. (and just so you can quote this if you want, the pronunciation is damn-a-clees).  So why should you care and proceed beyond this point?  Because, I’m gonna stretch your brain and blow your mind and show you how this concept has been rolled into film, music and life.
Dionysus was jealous of King Damocles great power and wealth. The King basically said, ‘give it a shot’ and turned the thrown over to him. As he did, he had a giant sword suspended over Dionysus’s head with a single horse hair. After one day of sitting on the thrown, Dionysus begged the King to take back his throne. In short, the king spelled out the great pressure of having everything that Dionysus was jealous of.
Now before we get any further the term “Sword of Damocles” has been somewhat bastardized to mean any situation where a person is facing impending doom. I prefer to think about the whole lesson as it was taught.
What we have here is a great lesson in envy. Or to modify Spiderman’s saying “with great power comes great responsibility, and peril. Let’s continue down the superhero trail; what happens the minute one of these superheroes is born? Some jackass villain comes along trying to take your place or take you down a peg.
Another great way to look at the situation is with an old saying turned into a Metallica lyric (from King Nothing) “careful what you want, you just might get it”.
Celebrities are one of the best examples of the “Sword of Damocles” concept. How many times have you thought about how great it would be to be rich and famous? Then, think about these guys not being able to have a private life, a normal relationship, or even the ability to raise a family where your kids don’t end up on some rehab show on t.v. ? So yeah, being famous would be awesome, all the stuff that goes with it sucks.  Finally, let’s not forget one of the ways this situation is played out over and over in modern life and that would be with a lot of lottery winners.  When you win the lottery, the first thing you’ll have is a string of lawsuits, then deadbeat relatives, maybe shady investors and before long you don’t even know who your real friends are.
Pretty much everyone has their own “Sword of Damocles” over their heads, even if it’s just the pressure to bring home a paycheck to feed the family. And let’s just say that you’re just the lead guy at an oil change place (there’s nothing wrong with that) but just by being the “lead guy” there’s some little snot looking to take you down and take your place, the boss expects more from you and so on.
I myself have some corporate folks coming into town this week and that is the perfect “Sword of Damocles” situation. I may or may not like the questions they ask or the things they want me to do, but I sure as hell don’t want to have to answer the questions THEY have to answer or the things THEY have to do.
I really doubt you’ll end up quoting “The Sword Of Damocles”, but it’s good thinking material for a little bit. You may not have all you want but there’s a price to pay with everything you get, want and will have someday. If nothing else it will make you a little more content with where you’re at in life right now.
Now, can I have some kind of award for rolling Greek literature, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spiderman and Metallica all into the same blog?

Here’s the song I referenced from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”

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