Aesop was a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC. He wrote/told a number of “stories with a moral” known as Aesop’s Fables that are still told and cherished today. We look at Aesop’s “The Lion and the Mouse” today. This is a story that speaks of how we treat others, planning ahead or planting seeds for the future, and not overlooking the potential contributions of even those least likely. Read this and see what you see:
The Lion and the Mouse (an Aesop Fable)
Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. “Pardon, O King,” cried the little Mouse. “ Forgive me this time, I shall never forget it. Who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days for you?” The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Sometime after, the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. “Was I not right?” said the little Mouse.
I think the message that jumps out at me from this story is the fact that we can easily overlook the potential contributions or abilities of some. We tend to categorize individuals which places barriers or limits on what we feel they can do. I have seen many cases where an individual that some felt was not ready for a bigger job or critical project blossomed when given the opportunity. In fact, I have personally witnessed many individuals achieve remarkable things simply because someone took a chance on them or gave them the opportunity to do more than others felt was possible.
Is there a “mouse” on your team or in your group? Is there someone that needs that breakout opportunity to shine? Is there something you can do to provide that opportunity for someone? Are you that mouse? Notice that the mouse took the initiative — she spoke up to the King of the Beasts. Had she never spoken, the Lion would have eaten her. Is there something you need to say or do to distinguish yourself? What conversation do you need to have with your manager at your year-end performance review?
Have a fabulous day! Look for that opportunity you might be given to make a difference for someone else!