Transcript - Aesop's Fables - Debate can eat you alive

Author: Aesop's Fables
Title: Debate can eat you alive
Plot: The wolf and the lamb
Note: Aesop's fables were so well respected they were placed into this collection by his fans

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Full Transcript
Hey, welcome back!
Today I’ll be reviewing Aesop’s Fables
However this won’t be a typical review. Aesop wrote 77 fables that consume about 18 pages. There’s no scenario where reading them all in one sitting would be interesting.
Aesop was born in 620 BC. He was a Greek storyteller who was 56 years old when he died. None of his writings survived. However, this might be because Greece had an oral tradition. References to Aesop are in the writings of Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. And his fables were so popular that they are still told to this day. I bet you even know one: I’ll give you ten seconds to guess which one it might be: the tortoise and the hare. 
Meaning that if you buy or read the book of Aesop’s fables online what you are really reading is a collection of all of his known stories that were collected and placed into a book for him, but not by him. He is so well respected that we remembered his name and gave him the credit, anyway. That’s pretty outstanding and worthy of a five star rating.
The best audience is children. All of his fables are short lessons designed to teach us about life. Or if you're a school teacher, perhaps, you could teach your class one fable a day. Certainly adults would benefit from these stories as well, they'd be good for public speakers in the right context. And though he's no comedian, sometimes he is a little bit funny.
The neat thing about Aeosop's fables is I view them as infinitely expandable because he based them on animals. We are all familiar with animals and so I will do two things in this podcast: I'll read you a handful of his fables and then I'll show you how you can combine them and then re-combine them to get the most out of them. Something, I believe Jesus Christ himself did, in the Bible.
I am inclined to believe that Jesus Christ was familiar with his fables, and leveraged them, as a teaching tool. Because recalling that Aesop was born in 620 BC, and that the name Jesus Christ itself is actually a Greek name resulting from Alexander the Great conquering the world. Odds are good that either Jesus knew those fables, and used them as a teaching tool designed to appeal to the culture of the day, or that he coincidentally independently decided to do exactly the same thing that Aesop did.
One could argue that God gave Aesop the idea in the first place, so I'm not suggesting Jesus lacked originality. But rather that it would seem Jesus was not only educated, but that he leveraged his knowledge of culture to reach the people.
I have already told you everything you need to know about the book. You know that it’s ancient, it’s short, you know how it was written, who wrote it and when these stories were made and what it contains. 

Some of them are funny. All of them are short.

Unpacking these fables isn't necessarily about being right, but rather about demonstrating the value of mining these things for all they're worth.
All right, let’s dive in. First I’ll read the parable and then I’ll unpack it. And I think that example, will explain to you the value in doing this exercise.

The first fable is called

The Wolf and the Lamb 
Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born." Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture." "No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass." Again said the Wolf, "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me." Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations." 

The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. 
--

That's the fable, all of it. I like it because it illustrates how someone bent on doing evil will often try to blame the victim for his behavior. It’s bad enough they want to eat you alive, but they want you to be the one who feels guilty for it.

We could leave it there and move on. Or we can see how much value we can squeeze out of it. So let’s try that. 
This business with the sheep and wolves begs the question can we categorize people? For example do you know any chickens, turkeys or bulls?
Let’s break down a bull. A bull lacks self awareness. Like a baby his attention is easily diverted. A baby will pick up a block and suck on it until he sees keys and then he throws the block away and barrels toward the keys with laser like intensity that can only be diverted by anything else he sees along the way. A baby is lost in the moment forgetting what happened just five seconds ago having no plans for the future apart from whatever he might see that grabs his attention along the way.
Like a teenager, the bull doesn’t seem to know where his body begins and where it ends. Hence the expression: a bull in a china shop.
He lacks the self awareness to know where his body is in time and space. If there is one characteristic a bull has that distinguishes him from all other animals it is his bull-headedness. He wants what he wants until he gets what he wants and sees something else he wants. The bull is known for his great strength and his tiny tiny tiny little brain. And so I ask you: do you know anyone like that?

Maybe there is something to this business of categorizing people based on animal behavior. And so how is that useful to us? What can we learn from it? How can we apply this in our lives?

Well if you know a bull and he’s charging toward you guns blazing. Just divert his laser like focus somewhere else. Meaning get his attention on your flashy red cape while you make your way to the exit. Benjamin Franklin once said, whoever can make you angry becomes your master, and this bull example plays into that. Just consider what makes the bull in your life angrier than you do, and remind him of it. It might be a nice thing to do, but who said you had to take one for the team? but bulls are bulls. They'll be angry no matter what you do, and so there's no sense absorbing an attack when you can simply redirect it. 

Similarly, while it would be tempting for lions to try to get chickens to man up. Your attempts to get chikens to do that will go unrewarded. He’s just going to want to get away from you as fast as possible. You will go further in life if you simply use your understanding of his nature to work with him. If you need to lead this chicken into danger, then you better put a bag over his head so he can’t see it. In other words, since you are lion and you would want to know about a dangerous area before you walk into it, you will be tempted to inform the chickens. But it would be better to do everything in your power to make the chicken believe he’s safe because informing him of the danger will only make him skittish and unpredictable. You can cut a chicken's head off so long as you close his eyes first.

So many of us spend far too much time trying to sooth bulls and trying to convert chickens into lions. Just understand who you are dealing with and work with them. It's not wrong that he's a chicken. Chickens lay eggs and they taste really good. Meaning they serve a purpose.

Maybe that wasn't the best example, but you get the idea...
The goal in life is not to make everyone else like you. Just work with people. Learn to appreciate them for who they are and work with them. 
As always, thank you for listening. Have a brilliant week. And y'all come back now! Ya hear?

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