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Humans are not perfect. At least the humans nowadays are not perfect. For millennia I was stuck in a box, now known as Pandora’s Box. But then I was let free from the box by a woman named Pandora. The freedom I suddenly had was wonderful. But when the good spirits were let loose, so were the bad spirits. The bad spirits fought with man’s virtue. They wanted to destroy everything that was good in the world. Only Hope was brave enough to stay on Earth. The rest of us good spirits hid on Olympus. I am Sophrosyne, the goddess of temperance, discretion, self-control, and moderation. And this is my story.

Every century or so, I would visit Earth to see how man was faring. Each time I visited, man became more corrupt. All humankind would do was waste and use too much with no self-control. Of course, I noticed the exact same thing with the gods too. And the worst one of them was Dionysus, the god of partying and wine. He had been mocking me for the past couple of years behind my back and my opinion of him did not improve.

I was thinking about humankind’s corruptness as I was wandering through a rose garden in Phrygia. As I was walking I heard a loud and arrogant voice. A man was walking through and talking to an advisor. The man was very greedy, I could tell this just by looking at him. Throughout the day I followed him secretly and watched him. It seemed as though the only thing of importance to him was gold and riches. King Midas, for I found out that that was his name, also had a daughter. Her name was Aurelia. She was beautiful, smart, talented, and devoted to her father; worth more than all of the gold in the world. But King Midas was so focused on gold that he never even noticed his daughter. I decided that something needed to change.

So I met with Dionysus’ mentor and father figure, Silenus; an old satyr that was usually drunk. I subtly put a sleeping potion in his wine, and as soon as he was asleep, I put him in the rosebushes in Phrygia. The next morning King Midas found him. I had put a bit of gold in Silenus’ pocket. King Midas had found that too. I knew that King Midas would think that Silenus had more gold stashed back at home so he would house him for a couple of days. And this is exactly what the king did. After ten days King Midas took Silenus back to Dionysus.

As they were on their way, an idea came upon me. Now, I usually do not lie, but this was an extreme case. I went to Dionysus and told him that King Midas had stolen the gold from Silenus and that he was only retuning the old satyr because he wanted a reward. Dionysus did not like this, just as I had expected. And together we came up with the perfect way to teach him a lesson.

As they approached, I hid. Dionysus acted very grateful and offered King Midas a reward. Just as what was expected, he wished that everything that he touched would turn to gold.

I followed him all the way home. I watched his amazed face as the ground turned to gold beneath his feet. Everything he touched turned into gold, trees, grass, water, birds, and everything else underneath the sun. When he got home King Midas called for a feast fit for hundreds just for him. I was disgusted by his excess. I had to keep from laughing as I watched his despair at seeing all of his food and wine turn to gold. He yelled and made a huge racket. His daughter came running. He asked his daughter to help him and one touch later, she was gold too. This was too much for the king.

He ran as fast as his legs could carry him and groveled at Dionysus’ feet. He begged him to take the power away. He offered all of the gold that he had just to have his daughter back. Dionysus took the deal. The king was now penniless, but he had his daughter. And when he saw her smiling face, he forgot about all of the gold.

I will not say that their lives were perfect; King Midas was not the sharpest arrow in the quiver and he made many mistakes. But they had each other, and they were happy. I returned to Olympus, but every now and then I came back to Earth to help lost souls like King Midas. And this story was when I realized that humanity was not lost, as long as my friend Hope stayed on Earth.




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