Competition Blog

Arete & The Glory of Achievement

Written by: Kompster

When the Persian military officer Tigranes “heard that the prize was not money but a crown [of olive], he could not hold his peace, but cried, ‘Good heavens, Mardonius, what kind of men are these that you have pitted us against? It is not for money they contend but for glory of achievement!'”   Herodotus, Histories , 8.26.3

Tigranes would be at a loss in today’s world of social media as people contend for bragging rights, Facebook friends, YouTube counts, Twitter Re-Tweets, Instagram shares and web site hits – in many cases more than money.  What drives you?  Fame, fortune, something else?  Let us know.

According to Tuft University’s Perseus Project;

“Ancient athletes competed as individuals, not on national teams, as in the modern Games. The emphasis on individual athletic achievement through public competition was related to the Greek ideal of excellence, called arete. Aristocratic men who attained this ideal, through their outstanding words or deeds, won permanent glory and fame. Those who failed to measure up to this code feared public shame and disgrace.”

Fame and fortune has indeed taken on an entirely new meaning in the 21st century, with little concern for public shame and disgrace, yet the fundamental drive remains the glory of achievement – in some cases this public shame is the achievement (watch Tosh.0).  Whether you are taking on a new sport, seeking a new challenge, or striving for your personal peak in an international championship.

We here at Kompster, encourage you to strive for your own arete – everyday.   NEVER let someone tell you that you can’t achieve something.  Find a challenge and go get it!!!

 


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