Some of those might have been written by Aesop. Do any of you remember Aesop Fables?
Aesop was a slave and a story teller that lived in Greece between 620 and 560 BC. He is credited with writing hundreds of stories for the purpose of teaching moral lessons. Exactly how many stories he wrote is unclear but some sources cite 337.
Apollonius, a 1st century philosopher, said of Aesop:
"...like those that dine well off the plainest dishes, he made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it. Then, too, he was really more attached to the truth than the poets are; for the latter do violence to their own stories in order to make them probable; but he by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be true, told the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events."
That little semi-colon infused bit of wisdom was taken out of Life of Apollonius of Tyara Book V:14 As fun as reading about Apollonius' life might be, I can only hope that means Verse 14 and not Volume 14.
While the story I am focusing on for today's post is the Tortoise and the Hare, you might remember others as well. The Lion and the Mouse, City Mouse County Mouse, The Grasshopper and the Ant...pretty much name any two animals and there is a story on the list. I am very curious how Aesop could work in all this writing while doing his day job...being a slave and all.
Anyway...as I was saying... For over 2000 years we have been telling and retelling stories for the sole purpose of teaching values.
BUT...for all the versions and creative change-ups, it is apparent that the message no longer applies as it was originally written.
It would seem by today's standards that winning is everything and there are no "morals" built into the story.
Revisions to The Tortoise and the Hare
Right out of the box, we would have to change the name to Bunnies and Turtles. If the story is to be geared for young kids, they are sure to question the word Hare. Can you blame them? No...I didn't think so.
Secondly, there isn't a prayer we would be writing about some bunny in the vein of telling it not to take an early lead. What is wrong with Bunny's coach? If that rabbit is pooping out, he isn't training hard enough or drinking his 5 Hour Energy Drink, eating the right proportion of carbs to protein, ...and has he not been using his P90X. Something is terribly wrong with Bunny if he can't keep up the pace to the finish line. Perhaps, there is a performance supplement (wink, wink) that Bunny could get from a "friend".
As for Turtle's coach... When is his contract due and what is it going to cost the organization to replace him? The only reason a coach would tell a racer to take it slow is if he has a bet on the outcome.... with his guy losing. Note to coach: You are not seriously telling your guy to take it slow in a race. Clearly you are insane. IT'S A RACE!
Thought Number Two: Too Much Bunny, Not Enough Turtle
As I look back and look at the progression of "the lengths people have taken to be #1, I would suggest that everyone on the planet should have a certain amount of Bunny. There is something to be said for being assertive and determined. Sure...if you are a racer...by all means...RACE.
BUT, let's not get over zealous and lose track of a pesky little thing like ethics. Yes, winning is nice but be strategic and smart. Steady-eddy sure and play by the rules. Bring out your inner Turtle!
It could be said that I am a Bunny.
No, I don't have the required attributes to be that sort of Bunny but I am the sort of Bunny that believes in "getting things done". If I were in a race with a Turtle, I would of shot out of the gate and I would have judged him harshly as being a slacker.
Ya Snooze Ya Lose!
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
He who hesitates is lost.
|click to enlarge|
Ultimately having too much Bunny and no Turtle leads to a really sad ending.
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