Has a Prometheus ever given you fire?
According to Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus created man out of clay and taught them to walk uprightly as the Gods. But at that time, the Gods considered man to be an animal; men were creatures without the gift of fire, which made their earth a cold, dark, and harsh place.
In time, Prometheus learned to love mankind and wanted to help them move forward. Because of this love, Prometheus disobeyed the command of Zeus and stole fire from Mount Olympus. He then descended to earth and taught mankind how to build fires. With this gift, mankind could cook their food, build tools, stay warm — and perhaps most importantly — they could have light in the darkness. Some even say that Prometheus lingered and taught man the ways of godliness: organization, medicine, science, writing, mathematics, and agriculture.
In a jealous rage, Zeus punished Prometheus for eternity, banishing him from Mount Olympus forever.
But in spite of Zeus's fury, mankind was never the same. The gift of fire — or the gift of light — gave them power to become as the gods.
Now I ask again, has a Prometheus ever given you fire? Has someone given you the gift of light when your world was cold, harsh, and dark?
I believe that at various points in our lives we all experience moments of Promethean fire. For whatever reason we may feel as though we are wandering in darkness — lost and afraid. But then someone comes who, because of love, gives us light. And with this light we are able to continue moving forward.
If you have identified someone in your life who has been as Prometheus — someone who gave you light during a period of darkness — I encourage you to reach out and thank them.
And then I encourage you to be as Prometheus — to give the gift of light to others. Because at some point, all of us struggle to move forward and all of us need the light of a Prometheus.
© 2014 Seth Adam Smith, author – Your Life Isn't for You: A Selfish Person's Guide to Being Selfless
Seth Adam Smith, author of Your Life Isn't for You, is an internationally acclaimed Alaskan-born writer. In 2013, his blog post "Marriage Isn't for You" received over thirty million hits and was translated into over twenty languages. A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth has learned that true healing comes from focusing on others and sharing "the northern lights of life." He frequently writes about these topics on his website, SethAdamSmith.com