The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak.
“Let us agree,” said the Sun, “that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak.”
“Very well,” growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler.
With the first gust of wind the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler’s body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain.
Then the Sun began to shine. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. The Sun’s rays grew warmer and warmer. The man took off his cap and mopped his brow. At last he became so heated that he pulled off his cloak, and, to escape the blazing sunshine, threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside.
Moral: Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail.
In today’s capitalist society of extreme competition, we often find ourselves caught up in fighting to be the “best.” More often than not, the path to superiority also involves participating in cut-throat activities we are not proud of. One of the easiest ways to be the tallest in any room is to snub and push the others down.
However, as demonstrated by this story, one can only go so far by ruthless behaviour. The most renowned champions are the ones who rise by helping all those around them grow. Here are some ways in which we can win while uplifting our neighbours and society simultaneously:-
Remember, you can only be “the best” if everybody around you acknowledges the same. A self-proclaimed winner holds no value and receives little respect. Hence, if you lend support to others, you win their favour as an individual who helped them grow, which in return builds respect and pushes you one step up.
Compete with Yourself
You might argue that if I teach others all that I know, I’ll never be better than them. However, this logic is true only for those who believe that learning is limited and has an end. If you keep learning as you keep teaching, not only will you always know more than those around you, but will also force yourself to expand your horizon of knowledge limitlessly - resulting in healthy self-competition and exponential growth.
Feel the Best
It is not enough to “be the best” - one also must feel good of themselves. If you kill all the competition around you, and then stand victorious, you will feel lonely up there and your conscience will begin to prick you. You might be at the top, but you will feel low. Hence, let the Sun from this Aesop’s Fable, remind you to always choose the gentle path to success, one that feels as good as it does good.