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In the historical epic movie, Gladiator, the great philosopher, Marcus Aurelius was Rome’s Emperor. Of course, his reign was good but he felt even more blessed with the exploits of his General, Maximus Meridius, the greatest general in the history of Rome at the time as he served diligently.

In appreciation for his service and integrity, Aurelius decides that Maximus shall succeed him to as Emperor rather than his own son, Commodus, the real heir to the throne. Commodus was not a moral man and his father did not want him to rule at all. When Commodus discovers this before its announcement, he murders his father and seizes the throne for himself.

Afterwards, Commodus asks Maximus for his loyalty, but the General refuses. Maximus is arrested immediately for execution. Though he saves himself while sustaining injuries, but he could not save his innocent family as they were murdered in cold blood.

The aftermath was that the Military man, Commander of Armies is reduced to slavery and has to fight as a Gladiator to survive. Nonetheless, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge his family’s death by killing Emperor Commodus in a fight but he later dies too as Commodus had inflicted an injury on him before the fight to gain advantage.

In my reflection, I realised that Maximus’s blessing ultimately became his curse. Though, Maximus was truly deserving of the throne but out of envy, Commodus couldn’t bear the humiliation of losing his birthright. Thus, he tries to eradicate Maximus’s family completely. Or what was the crime of Maximus’s little boy that he be nailed on a cross or his wife be tortured to death? All because Maximus found favour in the eyes of Emperor Aurelius.

If only Aurelius the wise could foresee the effect of his decision on his beloved General whom he loved like a son, he would have plan it differently. But lucky you, you have someone up there who foresees the future knowing that some blessings can be a curse.

Hence, he delays your promotion till you are mature to handle the opposition, He withholds some gifts so that it would not orchestrate your death, He separates you from people you think are indispensable in your life so that they will not cost you your destiny.

My dear, be thankful for every disappointment, loss or failure because nothing happens by chance.  it was Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of The United States that said, “if a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.”

But Dalai Lama, the 14th and Nobel Peace Prize winner simplifies it even further by saying, “Sometimes, not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

So if your current pain or circumstance protects you from greater danger, wipe your tears today because it is simply a gift in your life.

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