The Midas Touch

“He’s got the Midas touch”…or so we say about people who seem to be good at making money. The story of King Midas comes to us from ancient Greek mythology, and it’s worth retelling in full. King Midas once found Silenus, the tutor of the god Bacchus, and showed the lost Silenus the way back to his pupil. Excited at the return of Silenus Bacchus promised Midas any reward he wished. Midas’ wish was the wish shared by many – unbelievable wealth. Midas asked that everything he touched might be changed to gold. Bacchus immediately granted his wish and Midas returned to his palace with his newfound talent. True to Bacchus’ promise everything Midas touched turned to gold. Midas could take a stick and with a touch turn it into a stick of gold. He could take a mud brick and with a touch turn it into a brick of gold.

But this talent was not the blessing it first appeared to be. Elated at his new talent Midas had his servants prepare a sumptuous feast. The choice dishes were placed before him, but the moment Midas touched anything it turned to gold. The cloth, the plates, the cups, the food, all turned to gold as soon as they touched his fingers or his lips.

In the end Midas found enormous wealth could not satisfy his most basic need. Desperately hungry he returned to Bacchus and begged him to remove the gift, which Bacchus did.

The Midas touch is not the blessing we often assume it to be.