Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Hare and The Tortoise - New and Improved!

The Hare and The Tortoise

Long ago when I was young and in school, I read a story, of the Hare and the Tortoise. They ran a race.
Hare and the Tortoise

We all know that the Hare rightly thought that the he was fast. But he was wrong in thinking that he could take his victory for granted. He fell asleep during the race. The Tortoise overtook him and won.

hare and tortoise

Later on, the Management Gurus made some additions to the story.

Having lost the race, the Hare does some contemplation. He is unhappy that in spite of the fact that he is a fast runner, because of his casual behavior he lost the race. Now he decided that true to his speed, he must win the race and gain back the lost self-esteem.

So he went to the Tortoise. He said “Lets have another race”. The Tortoise agreed. And they had another race. This time the Hare, did not take it casually. He did not sleep on the way and won the race by a handsome margin.

The Tortoise was sad. At the same time he felt that since his speed is slow, it was just natural that the Hare won the race. But he decided that he must find a way to win back his lost glory. He applied his mind and thought of a plan. After clarifying the plan in mind he went to the Hare and invited him for another race.

hare and the tortoise

The Hare readily agreed. He knew that he would never commit the mistake done in the first race. But then the Tortoise said that this time I will decide the route. The Hare agreed. The route was planned in such a fashion that there were two-three ponds on the way.  When the race began, the Tortoise slowly ran on the land but easily swam through the ponds. On the other hand, the hare had to run around the ponds and lost a lot of time for covering the distance. The result was that the Tortoise won the race this time. He was happy that with his clever plan he could win the race from the Hare who was obviously faster and smarter than him. He credited himself that it was the victory of his wisdom.

The Hare was very upset for some time. But then he thought, why not make friends with the Tortoise. He had some qualities and abilities, while the Tortoise had some others. If pooled together both could become a great force. So he went to the Tortoise, and suggested to him that they would one again follow the same route; but that occasion they would not race each other. He said, “We will try to cover the distance, in the shortest possible time”. The Tortoise thought for some time, brooded over, and asked the Hare to explain what he intended to do.

Hare and tortoise

The Hare said I am smart and fast. You are slow, but wise. Let us pool our speed and wisdom. Let us try to cover the distance in the shortest possible time.  So they ran again – this time together.  At first the Hare carried Tortoise on his back, but when they came to the pond, it was the Tortoise who swam across, carrying the Hare on his back. In this manner they were actually make it to the finishing line, much sooner than before.

Hare and The Tortoise

The moral of this story is that if we work together, we win together!
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Who drives your life?

You might say that the subject is a misnomer. Since it is your life, you only drive it. However, it is not always so. You continue to do certain things by force of your habit. And your habits are formed over a long period of time. Now, consider these questions. Do you always do what you want to? Even when you have possibility to choose, do you always make a choice as per your liking? If not. Why not?

Most of us take decisions because of our considerations towards various other people. A husband may not like to do something, may not like to go to expensive places for eating out, may not like to spend too much money on fashionable clothes, and yet he does so because his wife likes these things. So, in this case, wife is the driver of husband’s life.

Conversely a wife may not like to do certain things but she has to because of the wishes of her husband. This is so in most of the house-holds in Indian villages and is also true among many families in urban India.


Let’s take another example. Anyone working in an office has to perform his/her duty. It is understandable. But how often he finds that the senior dictates the way in which a particular task has to be performed by the junior. People who are not assertive tend to follow others thinking that they are destined to do so. In these cases also, they are not themselves driving their life. Some other people do.

Let’s, now take an example of a different kind. An individual have a passion for making money. He doesn’t want to do anything where there is no possibility of profit in terms of money. Here greed is the driver of his/her life. Many a lives are ruined because of greed. At times, people may realize that it is not right. And yet, all their actions are driven by the unstoppable force of greed. Obviously, here greed is the driver.


Obsession with religion could be yet another strong force in a person’s life. There is no doubt that religion plays an important role in keeping the individual on the right track, socially and spiritually, yet an obsession with religion may create an un-called for problems in his/her domestic life.

The worst situation is when the person is obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure. Pleasure is not happiness. Its definition could be different for different people. But pleasure seekers mostly end up in achieving nothing. All bad habits take charge of the person only when pleasure seeking becomes a form of mania.

It’s a worthy exercise to stop and think who the driver of your life is, contemplate on significance of life and take full control of your own life for achieving your goals.

I invite you to add comments on the views expressed.

Thanking you for reading.

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