Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ABOUT OUR WEAK HEELS





Pic.: Ivan Mathias

In Greek mythology, Achilles was a great warier. The legend has it, that when he was born, it was foretold, that he would die young. So, to prevent this fate from falling upon him, his mother, Thetis, carried her new-born to the River Styx, which was believed to offer powers of immortality. There, the mother dipped baby Achilles in the holy water holding him by his heel. This made Achilles an invulnerable and invincible war hero. But, his heel, which was not touched by the holy water, remained weak … vulnerable, all his life.
When a poisonous arrow went into his weak heel, Achilles’ end had come!

I have narrated this story to our young P.D. students countless times. Yes, to convey to them what the English phrase, ‘Achilles’ Heel’, really means.

‘Achilles Heel’ is our weak spot … Our vulnerable area. But, then, it no longer refers to a physical weak spot. Today, it refers to a psychological and character-related weak spot.

Some days ago, when I recounted Achilles’ story to a young man, he asked me this:
“Did Achilles know, that he had a weak heel when he was alive?”

Obviously, Achilles did not know, that his heel was weak and it could bring him his fall. For, had he known about it, he would have, certainly, done something about it … whether successfully or otherwise.


I was, today, thinking about my own Achilles’ Heels. Yes, like many around me, I, too, have multiple heels of Achilles. One of them is thinking and worrying about future!

“That’s bad,” the young boy had reacted after I revealed before him my own weakness, “Worry is a waste … A silent killer.”

This boy had asked me if Achilles knew, that he had a weak heel when he was alive.

What about me? I know about my own ‘weak heel’… Am I doing anything about it?

A couple of hours ago, I was weighed down by some anxious thoughts … Yes, I was thinking about the future, the tomorrow …

Then, I wrote about it … This blog post!

Did I do something about my weak heel?

I guess, I did.

GERALD D’CUNHA

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