Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rethinking Gifts

As a parting gift, King Menelaus presented Telemachus with a precious silver bowl, fashioned by the gods themselves. Menelaus informed the prince that another mighty ruler had given him this gift, and that now it was being passed down to Telemachus. This action by Menelaus was very critical to the formation of Telemachus’s identity. Here was an older and wiser individual handing down a precious gift to a younger one. He entrusted Telemachus with something valuable. The unspoken message was that Telemachus was trustworthy. He was capable of keeping valuable treasures. He mattered.

Telemachus was still unaware as to the whereabouts of his father, and even worse, his mother’s suitors had flatly refused to leave his home. His problems were far from being resolved. But with this inner recognition of his true identity as heir to the throne of Ithaca, a king in his own right, things had begun to change dramatically. The tide was turning—because someone of influence had entered into one of the most important battles of his young life, the battle to realize his place in the world. Someone important believed in him.

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