The Wind, The Sun, and a Traveler

Aesop in his fables told a tale told about the wind, the sun, and a traveler.

The sun and the wind disputed about who was the strongest of the two. The sun challenged the wind saying whoever causes the traveler to take their cloak off is the strongest of the two.

The wind accepted the challenge, so the sun “retired behind a cloud,” and the wind began to gust. Each breeze caused the traveler to tighten his cloak to keep the cool breeze out. The wind retired his ineffective efforts.

The sun came from behind the cloud and in order to have his turn. He increased his heat. At first the traveler unbuttoned his cloak. The sun increased his heat more then the traveler took his cloak off entirely winning the challenge of strength.

We can draw three principles from this tale:

Come to agreeable terms

From the wind’s perspective, one must come to terms that place them equal in advantage to the other. It does no good for one to enter a contest, business, or relational agreement with terms lopsided terms. Be careful to not enter agreements which promise certain lose.

Focus on essentials

We must place our attention the most essential things. From the perspective of the wind and/or the sun, was their strength really the most important thing to focus on in that moment? Perhaps the sun could’ve focused on providing warmth for others so they can bask in it and enjoy life in the world. Perhaps for wind could’ve had its attention placed its on providing cool breezes especially when the sun was excessively hot. Rather than trivial displays of strength it’s more important to grow in displays of kindness providing comfort to others.

Win – Win

I borrow this idea from Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Instead of creating competitive relationships create relationships that are mutually advantageous for you AND other people. It does most of our relationships no good to be strong with the other weak. If people with whom I relate are weak, we both are hindered from growth. Other people’s strengths could actually be a part of helping to develop our own strength. When other people are strong in an area, it’s a good thing because often times other people’s strengths can be instructive in the development of our own strength.

We can take Aesop’s tale and retell it and most importantly relive it. We can tell and relive it for the mutual benefit of all.

Thank you for reading.

Grow thyself know thyself.

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