Jupiter and the Bee

A Bee made Jupiter a present of a pot of honey, which was so kindly taken that the god bade her as what she would, and that it should be granted to her. The Bee then desired that wherever she should set her sting it might wound to the death. Jupiter was loathe to leave mankind at the mercy of a spiteful little insect, and was annoyed at the ill nature of her wish. He therefore said that while for his promise’s sake he would give her the power to harm, she must be careful how she used the power for where she planted her sting she would leave it, and with that lose her life.


Evil brings evil in return.


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 would be such a lie when I tell you that I never thought about wishing any ill will against someone that treated me differently from everyone else. I mean, it’s part of our anger as we secretly wish something bad would happen to someone else. As I got older, I realized that wishing, even acting on, something bad to happen won’t bring any justice. I learned that it would end up biting back, and that it will hurt even more. I’m still working on my anger management issues but wishing ill will against someone is just as bad as acting on it. I only want good things to happen, not just to me, but to everyone who deserve it. For those who don’t, I only wish for reform and nothing else, not even my attention.

When I read the story of Jupiter and the Bee, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it. I believe that the fable can teach us that when we wish for the power to harm others, even for something so small, it will only bring more harm not to others, but to ourselves. It could be for whatever reason for us to have the power to harm people, whether it’s physical, verbal, or mental, but it’ll only hurt us at the end. It reminds me of the Man and the Fox fable, where the Man decided to trap the Fox because it was ruining the farm crops, and then lit the Fox’s tail, only to make things worse when the Fox ran for its life and burned all the crops along the way. The Man did regret his decision of causing such cruelty to the Fox because it damaged the property even more. Unlike the Man and the Fox fable, the Bee wished for the power to harm others after gifting Jupiter out of desire, not revenge. Therefore, that desire ends up being damaging, as Jupiter granted the wish with the consequence of the Bee losing her life. So, why wish for that kind of power when no one harmed or bothered the Bee?

I don’t know about everyone else, but if I did wish to have the power to cause any ill will on someone, I would feel so guilty, and I would not be able to live with myself. The only power I wish from the Universe above us is the power to let people feel happy when I’m around, to make them feel warm and joyful because the things I’ve felt for a long time are things that I don’t want people to feel. It’s painful, it’s angry, and it’s overwhelming. To wish for other people to feel the same way as I feel will only make things worse. Although, I am curious about something: why have such a desire to have the power to hurt people? Is it to instill fear on others to make them understand that we’re in charge? Is it to let everyone know that we’re indestructible? That we’re not to be bothered or taken advantage of? Whatever the answer we may have, there will always be that Deux ex Machine, The God of Machine: the malfunction to that power that will end up costing the life of the person using that weapon against those they target.

I will apply this to my life to remember that if I wish for the power to bring ill will on anyone, even if I did believe that they deserved it, it will only make things worse for me. I don’t know how people can live with themselves who have such desire, but all I know is that there’s always going to be something in the way that will hinder that satisfaction.

Remember, no matter how messed the world is, only wish for the good things to happen to those who deserve it, reform to those who need it, or don’t wish for anything at all. For when you wish to have the power to harm others will only end up costing you a much bigger price in the end.

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

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