I have no fantasy that the “tortoises” among humankind win real races. Neither do I mean to imply that the “hares” among us are in any way lesser creatures than the chelonians, but they are no smarter either. Nature made both what they are. The only race the tortoise wins, he runs against Achilles in Xeno’s philosophical paradox — frankly a paradox still totally beyond my grasp. I understand only that Xeno was disproved.
I do ponder whether or not success in life and even happiness has much necessarily to do with winning races all the time. Fate has a way of providing perspective here, say in the careers of Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno. The ways in which the mighty fall are legion.
I am drawn to “slow and steady” over “fast and jumpy” perhaps because I am older and slower these days. But I remember a youth when events had to happen quickly, differently and often. Sex comes to mind as does, the “next big thing.” Hare-like boastfulness and bravado are the traits of youth; and after youth foolishness. Both keep young fighter pilots flying. God has blessed some youth with early wisdom of whom I am sometimes envious.
Cautiousness and steadfastness go into winning as much as courage and flexibility. There are, of course the other bestial traits of foxiness, wolfishness, sheepishness, even slithering snakiness — ah, the badly-maligned snake. There’s the busyness of bees, fawnish sycophants and the vision of eagles. We often describe humans as sheep, lions, and gazelles. So, there it is then. I have an affinity for the tortoise and his ways. In the end whether the tortoise or the hare is “happy” or even “successful,” lies in the beholder’s estimation. At the very least, friend, make the journey interesting.
Steadfast and Cautious,