DON’T LET PRAISE BURN YOU TO ASHES…..

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Ariel Fana’afi Ioane

Gold and silver are called “precious” metals. They have been given great value for centuries   - by Babylonian tradesmen, pirates, Chinese Emperors, Kublai Khan (with his golden cannonballs!)

It has decorated Buddhist temples, Indian saris, Japanese kimono, African Kings and Queens and the Crown Jewels, to name a few. Gold bars have stabilized many banks, and filled many vaults; the longstanding Bank of England, Aztec’s gold and the Spanish Inquisition, Adolf Hitler’s Jewish gold…these metals have influenced the history of the human race tremendously. 

People today still wear jewelry fashioned from these metals. Companies make millions by just making gold chains and engagement rings studded with precious jewels, mesmerizing people, young and old, convincing them to buy and wear the beautiful products. The history of jewelry is quite “dazzling” as a matter of fact.

In ancient Greece, gold automatically meant riches and authority. Men with power would wear gold brooches while their wives wore massive rings and necklaces as a means to show off their wealth. They believed the chariot of the sun, ridden by Apollo, was made of gold, hence they even had a blacksmith, named Vulcan, whose job was to fashion jewelry and weapons for the gods.

Gold played a huge part in Roman history as well, when Julius Caesar was offered a golden diadem (it’s like a little crown) by his friend Marc Antony in front of a crowd of people at a festival. The multitude waited with bated breath, wondering what he would do. For you see, accepting a diadem meant you were planning on being king.

The Romans had already kicked out their old emperors, because they were horrid tyrants that liked to execute citizens for fun  - particularly the last king, Emperor Tarqinius Superbus,  - (yes…”Super bus!!”) who abolished most Roman rights.  He was probably the worst Roman emperor of all time- 5th century BC to be exact.   Caesar refused the golden crown, a sign that he didn’t want the royal responsibility…or maybe, didn’t want execution by the masses?  Anyway, the point was, gold was used to relay the message to his people. 

Travel to Northern Africa and you’ll find Tutankhamen wrapped in his linen, magic writing  surrounded by 365 golden figurines—all to be stored in his grave. Yup, the Egyptians believed that these gold toys would somehow “morph” into servants for the king in the afterlife, and that he needed one for every day of the year. It may seem weird now, but they solidly believed that gold would do that in the afterlife!! (No wonder there were so many treasure thieves at the time.) 

Gold is mentioned in the Bible too. The arc of covenant consisted of two angels, fashioned out of gold with outstretched wings. The whole temple King Solomon built was covered in gold too. Utensils used in the Temple were either made of gold or silver. What a glittery scene!!

No doubt gold and those who possessed gold were handed a lot of praise. PRAISE for their power, their wealth, their success, their economic status and family position. 

Nowadays gold is still valued, but it is no longer the legal tender of exchange. But people with loads of money still get praised. People who have a natural ability of sport get praise. Intellectual geeks with the technical knowhow to play around with computers get a slice of that praise pie too. Indeed, praise is something given to something or someone that possesses or shows talent of a golden nature. We all love getting noticed every once in a while. 

I can say with all certainty, that praise does feed your self-esteem. When people start giving you that sweet talk, one can’t help but feel that tingling sensation in their chests with that little voice saying “You hear that, she’s right. You make the most amazing cookies.” Or “don’t you see? He compared your voice to Whitney Houston’s!! You’re so good.” 

Sound familiar? 

Don’t get me wrong, getting acknowledged for a talent you have is great! It’s good that someone else enjoys the unique flair you have. However, once these thoughts sink into your head they become dangerous sources of ignorance and pride. The Word says:

“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.” 

True, isn’t it? 

How you react to praise shows what kind of person you are. The best way to deal with admiration is to remember that the talents you possess and the things you own, aren’t really generated from you. Rather, they are given to you by the Father above, who created you and all the things that make you, you. He’s the one that deserves ALL praise. 

GOLD AND SILVER MAY ENDURE TRIAL BY FIRE,

 BUT DON’T LET PRAISE BURN YOU TO ASHES.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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