The Man and The Fox


A Man whose vines and orchads had suffered greatly from the ravages of Foxes one day caught one of these animals in a trap. In a great rage, he tied up the Fox’s tail with tow that had been steeped in turpentine, set a light to it, and let him run. Mad with pain and fright, the Fox ran through a large field in which, ripe for harvest, stood corn caught fire, and the flames, fanned by the wind, spread over the field and laid it waste. The Man lamented bitterly that he had not chosen some softer and less cruel means of revenge.

Do not let your anger crush your wisdom.

Aesop, 6th Century B.C.

Hello coffee loves and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s School at Olive’s Café, where you explore life lessons told by great Grandpa Aesop.

It’s a New Year, and usually every year, we have a New Year’s resolution in which mainly involves change. Some people want to live a healthier lifestyle, others want to explore more. Whatever the case may be, they all want change.

However, what do people think of mindset? I always wondered if anyone wanted a new mindset, or have a change in their mindset for 2021 to be a better year. I assume that it goes along with being healthier or traveling. But what if changing your mindset is the first thing you want to do before making the decision of being healthier or traveling? Personally, I believe changing your mindset is just that very first step.

 That’s why I wanted to explore this fable: a man who took revenge on one fox but ended up hurting him in the end. The mind of wanting revenge on someone or something because of prior damage can be more damaging. This fable reminds me that when we are wronged, or when our property gets damaged, we think about how to take revenge out on them. It’s normal for us to act out on anger, and we want to make sure that there’s justice. So, we take our revenge to make sure the other person knows that we are not to be messed with. Unfortunately, as this fable puts it, it does more damage on us committing the revenge as much than the other person. Somehow, the cosmos must have made the event take a U-turn and hit us back.

For example, when there’s damage being done against us, we take revenge out on others. Then, they find out the truth, or what could possibly be the truth. When we see our property being damaged, and we assume it was our next-door neighbor: “Destroy my property, I’ll destroy yours,” but it could be that our next-door neighbor was out of town long before the incident. When we believe that our partner is having an affair with someone else, “You’re cheating on me? Oh well, do I have a surprise for you,” but your partner never met another person in secret, but they hung with a family member that was probably going through their own issues. When there’s a rumor circulating within the group, “They said that about me? Well, I have something even juicier,” but that rumor that was circulating could have been a misunderstanding of something completely different. Whatever the case may be, what ends up happening is that both parties end up damaged.

I find this fable enlightening because it taught me that revenge isn’t always the answer. Not only does it hurt the person, but it also ends up hurting us committing the revenge. It’s especially enlightening when the fable sets the example of the struggle of controlling anger and emotions when our property has been destroyed, and it can teach us as human beings that revenge can, and will, backfire and hurt everyone, one way or another. This is an ancient story told by someone of the 6th century, but we can apply to this century, and learn to think before we act, or better yet react. When we do come across damage upon us, we can process it, and think of better ways to approach the situations, rather than think of and commit ways that could be cruel on both ways.

Remember, the next time someone does damage to you, take a step back and think about the possible consequence when taking revenge on someone else. Karma always comes around, so there are better ways to repair damages.

Thank you for tuning in on Olive’s School of Life at Olive’s Café!

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