Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on February 27, 2007

Today: a remarkable tale from ancient Greece that could bring greater meaning to your life.

In long-ago Athens lived a lovely woman Medea with her husband of many years, Callias.

The couple had never been blessed with children but they were very much in love and devoted to each other and they had a wide circle of friends and an active social life.

Then suddenly Callias died of a heart attack. In an instant, the man who was the center of her existence was gone.

Financially Medea was fine because Callias had been successful in business. But emotionally she was devastated and was thankful for their friends who were there to comfort her.

But those friendships soon slipped away for they were friendships with other couples and based upon Medea and Callias being a couple. Medea found herself very much alone.

She became desperately lonely and often she would cry herself to sleep. As time passed Medea became so miserable, she wished she was dead.

Then one day as she sat alone in her darkened home, a visitor arrived.

It was her neighbor Melanippe, who said her 8-year-old son had been bed-ridden for days. “Could you spare some time to read to him while I go grocery shopping,” Melanippe asked.

“No,” said Medea. “I look awful. I have dark circles under my swollen eyes and look at my hair. It is a mess.” And then with a sigh, Medea added, “Emotionally, I’m a wreck and in no condition to help anyone else. I’m sorry.”

But Melanippe was encouraging and assuring and soon Medea joined her and she began to read to the boy. She read a comedy and she and the boy laughed together.

As she finished he asked, “When will you read to me again?” Medea considered his question and then she replied, “This was lots of fun. How about tomorrow?”

The next day Medea returned to read to the boy and she continued to read to him for the next two weeks until he got well.

Melanippe and her husband thanked Medea profusely and Medea could see how much her kind gesture meant to the family. And then she realized how much it had meant to her.

For each time Medea read to the boy, she was not sitting home alone feeling sorry for herself. And as she thought about Athens, she realized there were people in need everywhere. People who would treasure her time and attention.

In stages, Medea began to leave her home to sit with the elderly or the sick for an hour a week. She found this so gratifying, that she also began to tutor children to introduce them to the Greek plays she had always loved.

These little acts of kindness got her out of her home and away from her deep sadness and soon her life became active and full again. She had become a different person than the grieving widow she had been.

In her heart, Callias would always live. But now, through her interest in others, Medea attracted a large group of new friends and built a new social life based upon the person she had become.

And wherever Medea went, she brought with her a warmth and a sparkle that lit-up any room she walked in. Her compassion, her gentle laugh and her kind words drew others to her and her wise counsel and sincere interest in them made people thankful that she was a part of their lives.

Success Tip of the Week: If you can spare an hour a week to get involved with people who need you, as with Medea, it could do wonders for them and wonders for you.

This story is in part dedicated to Shahnaz Monique LaCaze, who passed away at the age of 35 from cancer. Some of her attributes, as summarized in her obituary [Los Angeles Times, 12/6/06], she shared in common with Medea.

In the next KazanToday: The story of a man who risked his life and convinced others to risk their lives to save 700 children from the Nazis.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!