What Shall Your Conquests Be?
September 26th, 2014 by Nicholas Comninellis | Comments Off
“I am Shutruk Nahunte, King of Anshand and Sussa, Sovereign of the land of Elam. I destroyed Sippar, took the sword of Niran-Sin, and brought it back to Elam, where I erected it as an offering to my god.” ~ Shutruk Nahunte, 1158 BC. Regarding this inscription above his classroom door Professor William Hundert in The Emperor’s Club (2002 Movie) comments: “It’s a quote from a virtually unknown king, who speaks of his list of conquests, but speaks nothing about the benefits. This king is unknown in history, because ‘Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance.’ What will your contribution be? How will history remember you?”
In popular culture today we honor, reward, and often envy people who succeed in difficult conquests. The nature of their conquests often appears to be of lesser importance than the fact that a great obstacle was confronted and subdued: a battle was won, an elusive discovery was made, a peace was secured. I would offer, however, that conquests differ greatly in their nature and their value. As Professor Hundert affirms, “Conquest without contribution is without significance.”
And so it is imperative that we each singularly consider the enduring value of the challenges were choose to confront. Three questions may help to clarify such value: Would your mother applaud? Would this make your children proud? Would this cause God to smile? In such light, what shall your conquests be?