Solon on Happiness
Herodotus, the 5th century B.C. Greek Historian, known
as the Father of History, relates a simple but profound story: The
story of Croesus and Solon. Solon, one of Athens’ law givers as
well as one of the seven sages of Ancient Greece, is reported to
have visited Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia.
Croesus, who considered himself to be the happiest man on earth,
wanted Solon, whose wisdom was legendary, to verify his belief.
So he entertained the Athenian sage hospitably in his palace, and
then he had his servants take Solon on a tour of his royal treasures
showing off the greatness and richness of everything. When Solon
had seen as much as the time allowed, Croesus, praising his guest’s
knowledge and wisdom, asked him this question longing to hear his
answer: “Well, my friend…who is the happiest man you have ever seen?”
But Solon refused to flatter him, he answered truthfully, and he
gave him a great lesson on Human Happiness and Prosperity. “Look
to the end,” Solon said, but Croesus was displeased, and he dismissed
his guest in a cold way. It was not until later, that he came to
appreciate Solon’s wisdom and understand what REAL HAPPINESS meant.
In this presentation, the story of Croesus and Solon will be used
as the spark for an animated discussion on the NATURE OF HAPPINESS.