Aesop in Africa: The Danger of Envy

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The Dove and the Zebra

Deep in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa a Zebra heard a dove calling. It was the sweetest sound the Zebra had ever heard. He wished his voice was as beautiful. The Zebra demanded that the dove tell him what the food was she ate that gave her such a beautiful voice. The dove replied, “The only food I have is the dew on the grass in the early morning.” From that moment on the Zebra drank only dew. Not long after, the Zebra died of hunger.

The Lesson: Envy of the unattainable can be fatal.

Based on an Aesop Fable

Aesop in Africa: Use your Circumstances

The Snake and the Bat

There was once a Bat which lived in a cave in a desolate part of Africa. Early one morning when returning to the cave after a night of feeding, the Bat was caught by a Snake. The Snake hissed, “I hate you birds” and grasped the Bat very tightly.

The Bat was terrified and gasped, “No! No! I am not a bird. I am a large moth. I know you don’t eat moths.” This satisfied the Snake who let the Bat escape.

Early next morning almost the same thing happened when the Bat was caught by another Snake. This Snake hissed to the Bat, “I love eating mice. I am going to eat you!”

The Bat replied, “I am not a mouse! I am a Bat! I know you hate eating Bats .”

The Snake believed the Bat and let the Bat go free. The Bat had escaped a second time.

The Lesson: There is always a way to turn circumstances to your own advantage.

Based on an Aesop Fable

“Bear Cottage” – A Very Sacred Place – Please read this blog post

John Bartels May 2022

St. Patrick’s Estate is high on a hill overlooking Manly in Australia. On the Estate is a small green field and some buildings overlooked by a statue of the Holy Mother. You stand there. You are reduced to silence. And so you should be for the buildings are “Bear Cottage”, a children’s Hospice. The only one is New South Wales and only one of three in Australia.

Please read about “Bear Collage” here and hhttps://bearcottage.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/home.php#/lifeere and remember everyone there in your prayers.

Thank you

To God be the Glory

Aesop in Africa: A Warning against Ruthlessness

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Sorry about the tragic story but sadly the message is true.

Once, on a hot dusty day in the grasslands of Africa, a hungry lion spotted a young Buck approaching a water hole. The Lion wanted to eat the buck at once. But the Lion decided that he would first ask the Buck why he should not be eaten. The Lion said to the Buck: “Last winter at this water hole you made fun of me. Give me two good reasons why I should not eat you.”

The buck was very afraid and pleaded, “I could not have made fun of you for I was not born then.”

The Lion replied, “Well then., why are you drinking at my water hole?’

To which the Buck whispered, “I have never drunk from any water hole. The only food I have ever tasted is milk from my mother.”

The Lion snarled, “You gave me two good reasons why I should not eat you. But I don’t care. The fact is that I am hungry, so I am going the kill you and eat you.”

Which is exactly what the cruel Lion did at that lonely water hole on a hot dusty day in Africa

The Lesson: Be very careful when dealing with a powerful bullies or tyrants. They are unethical and ruthless. They will always find an excuse to get what they want.

Based on a fable by Aesop

Are the majority always right?

If, in a referendum, the majority vote that 2+2=5 this does no make 5 the correct answer.

Inspired by Socrates’s reply to Melesias in “Laches, or Courage” by Plato

Shattered Glass and Blind Belief

What happens when blind belief is surrendered?

“Having once surrendered blind belief, it is impossible to return to it, for the essence of such belief is to be unconscious of itself. As soon as this unconsciousness ceases it is shattered like a glass whose fragments can not be again reunited except by being cast again into the furnace and refashioned.”

Abu Hgamid min al-Ghazali 1058-1111CE Please scroll down

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Also: Is it ok to be disillusioned? Click here

The Dangers of being too Agreeable

Grave dangers await people who are too agreeable. One danger is that in negotiations they will end up arguing the opponent’s case better than their own. Another danger is that agreeable people may be tempted to pursue “Peace at all costs”. This can end with those agreeable people paying most of the costs. Not a good outcome!

Each Individual, Climate Change, the Dung Beetle and the Starfish

“As an individual I cannot do anything to save our world’s climate. That fight is for the big nations. I personally cannot make a difference. So, I will do nothing”

Edmund Burke would strongly disagree with your attitude and admonish you thus!

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” – Edmund Burke

And the tiny African Dung Beetle would just laugh at you!

So – Put that one starfish back in the sea.

The Serpent and the Dove

Jesus advised His team:”Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” KJV

Why is this very wise advice? Have a look at a good Bible Commentary on Matthew 10:16

Good Manners and Forks

Good manners is much more than knowing what fork to use. Good manners is listening to the other person and showing them respect.

Based on a comment during an interview with George Will