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February 2, 2009

Then What?

And now for something completely different…

Because I love a good, old story, I share with you today an exchange that is said to have taken place between the Greek philosopher Diogenes (412-320 BCE) and Alexander the Great:

Alexander: Diogenes, you are a man of great repute, yet you are a man without purpose and mission! All you do is sit about all day, untroubled, unperturbed, indulging in conversation and the pleasures of moment to moment life!

Diogenes: So, what is so much better about the life of Alexander the Great?

Alexander: I am a conquerer of nations!

Diogenes: So, conquerer of nations, unlike my purposeless life, what are you going to do next?

Alexander: I am going to conquer Greece!

Diogenes: Yes…then what?

Alexander: Then I am going to conquer Asia Minor!

Diogenes: Alright…then what?

Alexander: THEN I am going to conquer the WORLD!

Diogenes: Alright, then what after that?

Alexander: THEN I will relax and enjoy life!

Diogenes: Why not save yourself the trouble?

There is another story that someone gave Diogenes a wonderful cloak. A competing philosopher ran up and stamped the hem of the cloak into the mud, saying, "I stamp on your pride."

Diogenes replied, "And how proud you are to have done it."

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