Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Brave Mice . . . a fable by Aesop

There once was a very old cat who lived in a barn, as cats often do. His job in the barn was to catch all of the mice, and he was very good at it.  As you can imagine the mice didn't really like this and so . . . one day they met together to talk about the great harm that the old cat was doing them.   Each one shared a plan that they had by which to keep out of her way.

An old gray mouse who was seen to be very wise by the others spoke up:  "Do as I say.  Do as I say.   Hang a bell to the cat's neck.   Then, when we hear it ring, we shall all know that she is coming and we can scamper out of her way."

"Good!  Good"" said all of the other mice, and one ran to get the bell.

"Now," said the old gray mouse . . . "which of you will hang this bell around the cat's neck?"

"Not I! Not I!" came the shouts all-together and the mice scampered away to their holes.

And things continued as they always had done . . .

Saying that you will do something may take one kind of courage . . . but action takes a different type of courage.   Real bravery lies in action . . . not words.

"We become brave by doing brave acts," was the observation of Aristotle.   It has long been held that qualities of strong character, virtue and vice are continuously fixed in us through practice.   We can learn to hate things which are terrible, and being able to stand our ground against them helps us to become brave.   This doesn't necessarily equate with fearlessness . . . plenty of brave people have been very afraid when confronted with fearful things.

It's ok to be afraid, and we all are at one time or another, especially when we are faced with daunting prospects and challenges . . . or even just every day life.   The brave person is not one who is never afraid.  It is a rash and reckless person who never shows fear, and . . .  I think . . .  may often cause more harm than help in an emergency.  True courage comes when one is faced with a frightful challenge and they choose to stand up to it and move forward irregardless of the fact that they are shaking in their boots . . . this is the courage that truly inspires . . .

These are the Ghandi's and the Martin Luther King's . . . the Nelson Mandella's . . . the cancer patient who moves forward despite their fear and bears the treatment which is often far worse than the disease . . . the mother who labours long and hard to bring a child into the world . . . the people who, despite facing horrendous circumstances and terrible odds . . . still raise their heads and cry out at the world . . . you can't beat me.   You may knock me down . . . but you can't beat me . . . and even should I die in the attempt to succeed, the battle will not have been lost, because someone . . . somewhere . . . somehow will have been encouraged and uplifted by my example.

This is the mark of a true hero.  An every day hero.

I had a wonderful time with my friends yesterday as we shared a pot luck lunch together here in my home.   I don't think there was a problem in the world we didn't solve!  It is so good to get together with like minded people now again and to break bread together.   It is hard to be discouraged when one is in the company of a good friend and sharing bread.  We enjoyed a very tasty lunch . . . and some even tastier food for the soul.   Those are the best kinds of occasions don't you think?

Yesterday's Silver Lining . . . though it was bitterly cold with a biting wind that cut right through you to the bone, the sun shone all the day through.  It is hard to be discouraged on a sunny day.   Everything suddenly becomes more bearable, even biting cold.

A thought to carry with you through the day . . .

“You could ask yourself, 'How did God Bless me today?' If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life.” 
~Henry B Eyring

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Corn Chowder.   Tasty, filling, economical and warming!  An old family favourite!

Have a great day everyone!



Sybil said...

I so agree Marie that the sunny day makes us so good...even in teh biting wind !! Garden Centre went well yesterday as did my pocket as things were on sale and then we got 10% off as it was garden club day and on top of that something that has never happened we had money on the customer loyalty card so another £2 off as well...a day full os sunshine to be sure.Sun out today again but a rose sky what do they say ren in teh morning ...won't finish that one LOL Gla dthat you had such a good lunch time yesterday..roll on teh time I can meet up with you and maybe even have some chowder !!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I am so effected by the sun that I do truly treasure the days we have it. Sometime I'm going to try counting just how many sunny days we do have compared to the cloudy ones. I'm sure cloudy would win out. Glad you had a great time with your friends. I know I treasure the good times I have with mine. Hope you have a great Thursday!

La Table De Nana said...

Michael J Fox comes to mind as a symbol of courage to me:) Guess reading his second book and YouTubing past interviews.. has reignited my favoriting him..
But often I see people and although I know the alternative is not great..I wonder how they keep going.

La Table De Nana said...

I meant favoring:)

CCCOld here too..but yes the silver lining IS that brilliant blue my daughter's eyes:)

HelenD said...

Beautiful thoughts Marie.
I love sunshine but these last few days it hasn't helped at all.A friend and colleague lost her 21year old son afew days ago. He died in his sleep -heart attack they said.How can it be?What can one say or do to help this family? I can't imagine anything worse than that.
Sorry about the sad news-can't stop thinking about it .

Marie said...

Helen, I am so sorry to hear about your friend's son. How very sad. It is always heartbreaking when someone so young dies and no matter how much we try to understand why . . . there is just no understanding to be found. Keeping your friend, her family and YOU in my prayers. May you find comfort in knowing that there is so much more than this life we are living. Love and hugs to you.

LeAnn said...

I loved the story of the mice. I liked the thought of we become brave by doing brave acts.
It sounds like you had a great gathering with dear friends.
I borrowed your quote from Pres. Eyring.
Blessings to you dear friend!

April said...

I love your silver linings, they inspire me. And I love you, too!