Today is a good day to take a new and interesting look at the classic Aesop’s Fables. Most of us read several of them in elementary school. Some of us had them read to us as bedtime stories. When we were children and we heard about The Tortoise and the Hare we thought it was a nice story about cute little animals. When we read about The Ant and the Grasshopper we may have grown curious about bugs and insects. The story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf seemed to be an interesting cautionary tale. As adults, we see Aesop’s fables as more than just cute stories. Because we have been alive for a while and have seen how the world works, we see much more.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
As children, when we read about the hardworking ant and the hungry grasshopper we may have been amused. Perhaps we wanted to be hard workers like the ant. Some of us may have wanted to be footloose and fancy-free like the grasshopper. As adults, we see much more. We see that the ant was successful and able to eat all his life. We know that in great part it was because he planned for his future. We see that the ant believed the cliche that if one fails to plan one plans to fail. As a result, the ant followed his plan to prepare for the winter and was a success. The grasshopper, on the other hand, had no plan and was not ready when he needed to be.
The story of The Ant and the Grasshopper teaches us that if we are going to succeed in this life we must plan for that success. We must decide for ourselves what success looks like and then create a plan to make that success happens. Not only must we make a plan, we must work to make the plan a reality. If we want to succeed and be able to properly care for ourselves and those we care about we must work. Success is not an accident or happenstance. Indeed success is the result of an investment we make in working to achieve something we have planned.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
As children, most of us heard the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Often we heard it when our parents were disciplining us for telling stories that were not true. We grew up thinking that if we told lies we would have big trouble. We had to tell the truth all the time so people would believe us when we needed help. As adults, we know that our word must be our bond. In other words, we have to tell the truth. If we do, people will be able to take our word as fact. When we call a thing a thing, those around us won’t need outside proof. They will be able to take our word, period.
The story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf teaches us that what we say matters. When we talk, our words matter. We must select our words carefully. When we say something, we must think about how our words will be received by others. As adults we know that it’s not just what we say, but how we say it that matters. As a result, we choose our words carefully. Learning the value of our words is a lesson it is never too late to learn.
The Tortoise and the Hare
Once upon a time, we saw The Tortoise and the Hare as a story about cute little animals who ran a race. As adults, there is much more to see. The tortoise has behavior we should aspire to. The tortoise is a dedicated worker. He works in a smart and steady manner until the job is done. Then he is able to sit back, relax, and enjoy his accomplishments. On the other hand, the hare is a braggart and a show-off. Instead of actually accomplishing great things, the hare talks about what he will do. He brags about what he can do. Interestingly, he never actually gets around to doing all the things he says he can do. Instead, he spends too much time talking, he is eclipsed by another who does less talking and more acting.
The story of The Tortoise and the Hare teaches us that we cannot simply talk the talk. We must walk the walk. If we are to succeed, we must do what we say we can do. In other words, one of the best ways to succeed may be to do what we are supposed to do. When we show up like grown-ups and do what we must, we make the world a better place.
Aesop’s fables are more than two thousand years old. Amazingly, they are just as relevant today as they were when they were first written. It is nice to do as we did here and look at them in an interesting new way. The old classic stories still have a place in our world.
It is sensational to take this interesting look at an old classic. So the question for you this sensational day is, what is your favorite Aesop’s fable and why?