Beware of the Ides of March

In my column today, I am going back to when I was a sophomore at Gordon High School under the oversight and instruction of Mrs. Lucille Cheeks Belin. She was one of the faculty members who could be considered as the greatest of all times (G.O.A.T.), who taught English literature. In her class that year, I recall this warning given to Julius Caesar by the witches: “Beware of the ides of March” in the Shakespearean play Julius Caesar. Beginning with that famous statement, I want to consider a few more well-known sayings that start with the word “beware”. Julius Caesar’s refusal to heed the warning of impending danger on the 15th of March ended in his brutal assassination by a group of Roman senators who feared that he would make himself a king.

Beware of Greeks
Bearing Gifts
This statement stems from the war between the Greeks and the Trojans over Helen who was the wife of a Greek king who left Greece in a stealthy fashion with a young Trojan Prince. She is known in Greek legend and lure as the woman who launched a thousand ships.
When the Greek army failed to breach the impenetrable wall of Troy after a long seize, they departed and left behind a giant wooden horse at the gate of the wall as a gift and gesture of defeat. Unbeknown to the Trojans, when they pulled the horse inside the city, there was a hollow section in the belly that could contain and conceal a few Greek warriors.
At night, when there were only a few watchmen on the wall, these Greek warriors exited the horse’s belly and opened the gates of the wall to allow their entire army in who quickly conquered the city of Troy. Thus, was born the saying, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. The moral of the story and saying is do not accept the gift from an enemy who seems to yield and offer a gift signifying defeat. There is almost always a hidden agenda behind their surrender and gift.

Beware of No Man More Than Yourself; We Carry Our Worst
Enemies Within Us
– Charles H. Spurgeon
When the man, who many in church history consider as the prince of preachers, coined this statement, he was paraphrasing the words of our Lord. Each of us would do well to heed the warning of his words. We have no greater adversary than the one that lives within us. This is true for believers and unbelievers without any exception. The first step to going forward and to true success is to overcome and subdue the enemy who lives within you named self.

Beware of False Knowledge. It is More Dangerous Than Ignorance
– George Bernard Shaw
The previous warning is one that we all should strive to adhere to. As dangerous as ignorance has often proved to be in the lives of so many (myself included), there is another detriment that has ruined and destroyed more people’s lives than ignorance called false knowledge. Exactly what is false knowledge? False knowledge is information that is not accurate or true. It is based upon exaggerations, fabrications, and conjecture. There is much false knowledge in certain aspects of the scientific community when it comes to the theory of evolution and The Big Bang Theory. Multiple billions of people around the world are living under the dictate of religious, political, and philosophical false knowledge that are suppressing their human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Bible defines such false knowledge as the “way that seems right to man that leads to ruin and death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Beware of Missing Chances; Otherwise,
It May Be Altogether
Too Late Someday
– Franz Liszt
How many of us can honestly accept and agree with the previous words due to the fact that we have experienced the consequences of missing opportunities? Whether we miss these chances that would have enhanced or advanced our lives in some aspect or area due to our negligence and vigilance, it often proves to be too late (in many cases) to capitalize and take advantage of a golden opportunity. Missing chances and golden opportunities can affect people in perhaps every area of life. The best way to not be a victim of a missing golden opportunity is when it comes knocking at your door, stop what you are doing and let it in because it may not come knocking a second time.

Beware of Little
Expenses. A Small
Leak Will Sink a Ship
– Benjamin Franklin
This final warning that starts with the word “beware” is one that untold millions can attest to. Due to the fact that it deals with money matters, budgeting, and financial security or insecurity, it would greatly benefit all of us who are not exceptionally wealthy to consider and conform to the prudent advice it renders. Most people who are struggling financially are doing so because of little expenses that have put a hole in the boat of their budget. They are where I once was concerning my money before I came to myself in the bondage of frivolous spending and indebtedness. I came to accept that a lot of little expenses when combined together come to a huge amount. Once I learned my lesson and disciplined myself to curtail my appetite for frivolous and foolish spending, I was able to adhere to a budget. I am now debt free because I overcame the addiction of little expenses that had caused my boat to have a small leak.
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will ultimately sink a ship if it is not detected and plugged up in time.

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