I remember encountering this story many years ago as a little girl. It was funny, relatable and easy to read. It was “JUST A STORY” or so I thought. In recent years however, I have pondered over the many hidden and poignant life-lessons in this tale. For those not familiar with this fable, it’s centered around a hare who is naturally predisposed to being a faster runner taunting a tortoise about being slow. The taunting prevailed for a while until eventually the tortoise agreed to a race with the hare. The hare who was so confident in his ability to win the race looked down on the tortoise who had begun to run albeit in a rather painfully slow pace. Having accessed the present condition, Mr. Hare chose to take a nap with the hopes of relying on his inherent speed to catch up and overtake the slow tortoise. He woke up moments later and noticed that the tortoise was still a far distance from the finish line so he went to get some breakfast. The heavy breakfast caused him to fall into deep sleep only to awake at a time when the tortoise was barely a yard away from the finish line. Though Hare tried to catch up, the slow but steady gains of the tortoise made it impossible for the hare to overtake him.
How does this relate to our world today, you would ask? Well, there are countless parallels but I will only list 5:
We are all naturally endowed with certain gifts and talents. Some talents/gifts might be more recognizable or “glamorous” than others but they are gifts nonetheless
It’s important to identify what those gifts/talents/interests are and to steadily develop them.
We have to run our own race. Over speeding kills so know your speed limit and approach life accordingly.
Don’t loose your identity in the process of the race and don’t look down on others; just be the best you and believe in what you have been given.
Do not be proud because you have more than someone else. The lesson is not so much how you start the race but rather how you finish it. The steps and actions you take between the beginning and end point determines what your end will be like. I’m sure we all know or have heard of people who had so much promise in the beginning of an adventure but their character, lack of discipline, pride, among other things choked their path to success. There are also those who did not seem to have much promise at the beginning but hardwork, determination, persistence and a good dose of humility charted their paths to success.
I find that we could all use a good dose of humility, persistence and passion as we travel on this road called LIFE. A little compassion, a little focus, a little lending of helping hand, a little love and a little peace will go a long way in making this experience enriching and enjoyable to all.
Stay humble, stay passionate.