The Short Story of Alexander’s 3 Final Wishes:
When Alexander the Great was dying, he called his generals and told them his three final wishes.
Wish #1: Only the very best doctors should carry my coffin.
Wish #2: Scatter my wealth on the road to the graveyard.
Wish #3: Leave my hand hanging in the wind for everyone to see.
His generals were shocked and asked him to explain…
Alexander replied: “I want doctors to carry my coffin to show that even the best doctors are powerless to cure in front of death.”
“I want the road scattered with my wealth so everybody can see that riches gotten on earth will stay on earth.”
“I want my hands to swing freely in the wind so that people understand that we are born empty-handed and we leave empty-handed. After what’s most precious is gone: Time“
Every time I come across this story of Alexander the Great and his last wishes, I can’t help but take a deep, introspective pause. Alexander, who was once the most powerful man in the known world, had an uncanny understanding of the transient nature of life, power, and material wealth.
It’s quite profound to consider that someone who had achieved so much, someone who had the world at his feet, was grounded enough to understand these vital life lessons. Let’s face it: it’s easy for us to get caught up in the rat race, chasing success, accolades, and worldly riches. But here was a man, who had it all, reminding us of the inevitable truth – that at the end of the day, no matter our status or power, death is the great equalizer.
His first wish starkly highlights the fragility of life and the inevitable reality of death. No matter how advanced our medicine becomes or how expert our doctors are, mortality remains a truth we all face. It’s a sobering reminder to appreciate the time we have and to prioritize health and well-being over mere ambition.
The second wish speaks volumes about materialism. It’s so easy to become engrossed in acquiring wealth, thinking it will grant us happiness or respect. Yet, what good are all these riches if they can’t accompany us beyond the grave? The riches, in truth, are but momentary pleasures, fleeting and transient. And while they can provide comfort, they can’t provide true, lasting contentment.
But it’s the third wish that resonates with me the most. The image of Alexander’s empty hands swinging in the wind serves as a powerful metaphor for the essence of our existence. We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing. What truly matters is not what we accumulate, but the legacy we leave behind, the lives we touch, and the love we share.
Alexander the Great’s story reminds me to look beyond the superficial. It pushes me to value relationships more than possessions, moments over materials, and the journey instead of the destination. Life is fleeting, and it’s the impact we make, the memories we create, and the lessons we leave behind that truly define our greatness. So, as we move forward, let’s cherish the time we have and live in a way that, when our time comes, we can leave behind not just material treasures but a legacy that speaks volumes about the life we lived.