The essence of being a legend.
Ever wondered what it feels like to be remembered by hundreds if not thousands of people for over millennia? What it could feel like to have a legacy that would echo through history?
Those people of ancient past are still remembered and are worshiped in many parts of the world.
‘Why be a king, when you can be a god’
-Rap god, Eminem.
So, what makes a legend? Is it by genetics by birth, or sheer stroke of luck? Let us learn two paths of becoming a legend by two totally different men, Achilles and Hector.
When we think of a legend, what comes in your mind? A man or a woman, tall, strong, brave and courageous. A natural leader and excellent in his craft. Having a great physique and good looks also stem into it many times.
Enter Achilles, a demigod. Son of goddess and a man, he portrays what its like to be a true living legend. The enemy forces shiver by his name while his army could always count on his as a last resort.
His legend was so great that alexander himself worshipped the same goddess as Achilles did, to make him more similar to his favourite demigod. He was the greatest warrior ancient Greece had ever seen, but he wasn’t the only one. Trojans had a great leader of their own.
He was a legend in his own right, being the greatest warrior of Troy matched only by Achilles himself. He even killed Achilles’ best friend in a battle, who was himself a big burly warrior no man would dare fight. He was by all means a great general, good prince, just ruler and a loving husband, father and son.
In many ways these two men are similar, with one tiny difference.
Unlike Achilles, Hector was not a demigod.
Achilles was born a great legend being godly from birth. He couldn’t help being the awesome warrior he was simply because of his DNA, while Hector had to work hard tooth and nail to reach to the position he had. He had to earn the right to become legendary unlike Achilles.
Does that ring a bell?
Many a times in life we see some people winning the genetic lottery. They are brave, courageous and natural leaders because of their birth. Their body and face are beautiful because of their luck. And because of this people adore them while many get backlisted without any natural fault of theirs.
But that shouldn’t make us sulk in our room being scared of what others will perceive us as. Our entire existence depends on not being scared with what life throws at us.
‘The one who cowers in fear is dead anyway’
-Ancient Indian saying.
One thing we notice is that before the final encounter of Hector took place with Achilles, his wife begged him not to go, fearing that he may not return. Hector very humbly states that he knows this but cannot do so as the morale of his men will weaken by not fighting alongside with them, while history will remember him as a coward.
And he was having none of it.
He faced his fears as he fought against his greatest enemy, dying a warrior’s death.
It is said that despite being a demigod, Achilles was still helped by a goddess in the fight. Later after killing Hector he rode alongside his body to his camp.
Hector sacrifice and actions rung even to this day just like Achilles, but with a major difference.
You don’t become a legend by birth or by DNA or even by a stroke of fate. You become a legend by choice. Your choice of your actions determine how long will people remember your name. Your sacrifice will determine if your legacy is worth having or not.
Hector is remembered because of he put down his life while trying to defend his people and family. Achilles is now remembered in many medical dictionaries because of his weak tendon, named (Achilles heel/ Achilles tendon).
Hector is remembered as a great son, just prince, brave general, a loving and faithful husband.
Achilles is remembered as a demigod, while Hector is remembered as the man who gave the demigod a run of his money on that title. He is remembered as a man who went head to head against a god and put him to a test.
Go ahead, seize your glory!