Nothing New Under the Sun

Steady Now

Have you ever heard the story of the tortoise and the hare? I'm sure you have. If you don't remember, here is the storyA Hare boasts about his speed in front of the other animals and challenges any one of them to race him. A Tortoise accepts his challenge. At first, the hare thinks it's a joke, but the tortoise is serious. So, soon after, they begin the race. The hare runs full speed ahead, and to make fun of the tortoise; he decides to take a nap. The tortoise keeps slowly going and going. When the hare wakes up, he notices that the tortoise is past the finishing line and fails to win the race.

It is a story I heard when I was a child that always made sense to me. As a kid, I was never the fastest, but I never gave up. In my mind, winning wasn't the biggest attraction to me. I always seemed to enjoy the sport or competition. As I got older, I saw some friends make a lot of money after high school working various jobs. They would say, work with me, and make some money. 

Eat Your Greens

I knew I needed to continue my education, so I said, no thanks, I'm going to stay in school. As a result of graduating college, I started making a little bit of money but had more potential to earn as I grew in the business.   

Consequently, I got better at my job and earned a lot more. Soon, I was doubling or tripling what my friends were making. I remember thinking back as they drove nice new cars, and I was repairing my old car to get to school, that one day, I'd be in a position to have nice things too. I was never jealous, just patient.

Have a Point

Most importantly, I learned everything would work out for me by being dedicated and working toward a goal. Little did I know that the tortoise and the hare would influence me greatly. Slow and steady wins the race. 

However, I had no idea it was one of Aesop's Fables. As a matter of fact, I didn't know who Aesop was until recently. It may sound strange that I know some of Aesop's Fables, but I didn't know who this man was.

It's all in the Story

Who is Aesop? And why is he so popular with children and adults? Aesop was a Greek storyteller born approximately 620 BCE (2,641 years ago). Tradition says he was born as an enslaved person but developed a natural talent for fables that teach truths in a simple, understandable way. While Aesop gets credit for his abilities, it is almost certain that countless people wrote many of the fables attributed to him over the ages. 

According to legend, Aesop is in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An antique literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably a highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly enslaved person who, by his cleverness, acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. As a result, it seems Aesop created a life that would adhere to his stories.   

Look at You

For example, here is a little-known story of Hart and Hunter.  A Hart (Deer) is drinking at a river, admiring its beautiful antlers. He then notices how small and weak his legs look. Just then, a Hunter approaches and shoots an arrow out of nowhere. The Hart runs away into the woods and realizes that he survived thanks to his legs. While looking at his legs, his antlers get caught in the trees. The Hunter Catches up to the Hart and kills it. 

Aesop reminds us that we often detest what is most beneficial to us. For instance, many people are critical of how their bodies look. We tend to focus on the size of our belly or if our skin looks youthful. Meanwhile, trillions of things go perfectly, like your eyes working or if you get a cut on your finger, and it heals without direction. We are miracles in motion, but we focus on the 2 or 3 things we don't like. 

Bees do It

The last fable I'll leave you with reminds me of how I prefer to live my life. The Wind and the Sun are arguing over what is stronger. Suddenly they see a traveler coming down the road. They decide to settle an argument over whoever can get the traveler to take his coat off. The Wind blows as hard as possible, but the traveler tightens his jacket even more. Then the Sun softly shines its rays on him. The traveler suddenly feels hot and finally removes his coat, proclaiming the Sun the winner.

Persuasion is better than force. Kindness, and gentle manner, like the Sun, are always better than cold threats and intimidation. So, if you ever need something from someone, it is best to be kind and humble over yelling at them. As a result, you might find they will respond more to your liking. Think honey, not vinegar.

What's New? 

As we navigate our lives, we must consider how many people have traveled these roads before us. The book of Ecclesiastes (a book of the Bible primarily reflecting on the vanity of human life) states; The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done: and there is no new thing under the Sun.

In conclusion, Aesop, real or imagined, reminds us that if you are doing something that is out of your character, you will most likely be doomed to repeat it. I don't think that is bad; I just believe it takes more time.  


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