WORD FOR THE WEEK – ACHILLES HEEL
Achilles Heel is defined as a vulnerability in an otherwise strong situation. It means a soft spot, weakness, kryptonite.
The Genesis of the term Achilles Heel stems from the life story of Achilles, the son of Peleus and Myrmidon. His mother dipped him in the River Styx to make him immortal like her. Holding him by his heel as she did this.
Achilles went into battle fearless, with the knowledge that he was invincible. He was unstoppable, slaying Trojan hero Hector outside of Troy. Unfortunately for him, he was shot in the heels by Paris, leading to his demise. After this, a spot of weakness or vulnerability became known as Achilles heel.
Many of us see ourselves only from our vantage points. We look in the mirror and see an epitome of perfection, with no flaws. We analyze our traits and see no semblance of an Achilles heel. Even when one is present.
There is a saying I use to weigh prospective words or actions before executing them; “We are our best adjudicator, but other people’s leading prosecutor”. Before I pronounce you guilty, I try to see if I would have done the same, if not worse, if I were in your shoes. Then “tempering justice with mercy” comes in.
In this era of grace, lots of people are making excuses for every Achilles heel we have, while motivational speakers are encouraging us to get over it and live with it. Those are two erroneous school of thought.
As an accountant or auditor, you don’t just overlook a misplaced thousand naira here and there. You demand for receipts and explanations. If you are not satisfied with the response, you note it down and come back to deal with it.
As a human being too, be you a perfectionist or not, a believer in grace or positive confessions, whatever your stance on religion and God, the truth is if you find out your Achilles heel, you need to protect it.
What if Achilles had got his heel dipped in the solution separately after the rest of the body was pulled out? What if a separate amulet had been given to him to wear on that heel? What if his heel had never been shot at?
It is always better you find out and fix your weak point, rather than letting an enemy find it out in the middle of battle. I have never lived under a thatched roof before, but from novels I read when I was younger, I learned that the owner of the house either replaces the whole roof, or check for weak and rotting palm fronds and immediately replaces them. Rather than letting the rain find the weak link in his roof and messing up the house.
Take time out, study yourself, find your Achilles heel, fix it.