A lesson from Aesop
In this hot weather, I went to my basement, opened some storage boxes and the book of Aespian stories got my attention. It used to be one of my favourites, especially the story about the Trader and his Donkey - the original Smart Ass.
It is a wonderful story, also a kind of ‘Duoset’ if you look for its two sides. Side one, the donkey carrying a load of salt to market for the trader. Once passing a lake, and wanting a drink, he slipped into the water. He learned that his load became much lighter. Later he would do it again and again.
The trader did not like to lose his cargo and decided to teach his donkey a lesson. He replaced the salt with sponges and loaded his donkey. The donkey stopped at the lake as usual. The ‘smart ass’ was punished, yes, but think beyond the story and expand.
Side two, the merchant lost his only source of revenue, suffered hunger, and soon joined his donkey in death.
This is not just one story with a lesson for the reader. Think sideways, forward, up and down (Hegel) and you come to the shortcomings of our time: Phoenix pay, immigration and emigration (of our best and brightest), plus trade & tariffs, nuclear power & waste, and many more. If you think you’ve given each your best thoughts, think some more -- mistakes are human. Life is not rigid; it is in constant change. Adapt, open your eyes, listen to the sounds around, every day is a good time to learn and improve on mistakes of our past. Do not just wish it, do it!