What is the Midas Touch?

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Midas is the name of the king of Phrygia who was granted the wish to change the things he touched into gold. The Midas touch metaphorically represents the gift of earning profits from whatever venture one undertakes. The person with the Midas touch has the magical ability to reap huge profits from any endeavor he tries thus perhaps making him a target of envy. King Midas was a kind man but because of his short sighted wish lost his only beloved daughter with his touch by turning her into gold.

 

What is the Myth of Midas?

Midas was the legendary king of ancient Phrygia. One day his gardener found a satyr in the vineyard and brought him to the king. Midas recognized the part goat, part man creature as the right-hand satyr, Silenus of God Dionysus. Midas immediately set him free and in fact treated Silenus with dignity. Dionysus was pleased with the kind treatment meted out by Midas and offered to fulfil whatever wish Midas desired for.

Midas wanted a successful and rich economy for his kingdom and asked that whatever he touched should turn to gold. Dionysus granted the boon which Midas desired after making sure that Midas was firm in his wish.

 

What was the result of the Midas Touch?

After being conferred the boon by Dionysus, Midas was eager to try it out first by touching a bowl of fruit, a stool and a lambkin. All these things he had touched turned into pure gold which left the king delirious with joy. Next was the turn of the chariot to be transmuted into a glittering gold. Midas wanted to show his feat to his daughter and took her by the hand. But to his surprise in place of his lively daughter there stood a golden statue. In fact thereafter every useful object that Midas touched turned into gold thereby losing its real utility. The food that he tried to devour was also transformed into gold losing its nutritional value.

 

How did king Midas lose his Midas touch?

The story of King Midas originating from ancient Greece surely has a moral to convey. Midas was granted his much desired wish to acquire wealth. Just as he wanted, everything he touched turned to gold including his beloved daughter and even the food that he desired to consume. Midas soon learned that his love for riches deprived him of all the valuable things in his life. Fortunately when Midas realized his folly, the god Dionysus asked Midas to get rid of the Midas touch by washing in the waters of river Pactolus.

 

What does the Midas Touch imply in the present times?

In the present times, people who achieve astounding success in a business or any challenging profession such as the stock markets and the like may be termed as having the Midas touch. The Midas touch may imply the heights of commercial success but the term may also involve a note of caution. People may wonder whether the riches have not been acquired at the cost of happiness. In reality the truth in most cases may be that the person with the Midas touch may have acquired all his wealth through hard work and business acumen.

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