Today, July 20, marks the birth anniversary of Alexander the Great, who was born in 356 B.C. in Pella in what is northern Greece and conquered the Persian Empire in 331 B.C., ushering in the age of Hellenistic culture. Much has been written about him. I’ve written much about him – so much so that people are sick of hearing me talk about him.
Why does he haunt me?
I’m an amateur cultural historian. Before Alexander, culture flowed East to West. After Alexander, culture flowed West to East. And that tension between East and West, to which Alexander contributed, is still with us, particularly in the Middle East. We’re still living in Alexander’s world. American troops walk in his footsteps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Alexander led from the front. And that’s a quality that is in short supply in the political and corporate worlds.
Alexander survived difficult parents. So did I. To those out there who despair of this, I say, You can, too.
Alexander lived the life he saw in his head. Few people get to do that. But then, he believed, as I do, that “All things are possible to him who will try.”