Fox and the grapes story: A life's lesson

Fox and the grapes : Looking from another angle*
Vathsala Jayaraman 

The world is undergoing lot of changes and many things acquire new dimension in life.
My son was doing his Executive MBA in Stanford.A few days after joining I asked him  what they teach in Stanford.Pat came the reply 'Fox and the Grapes' Story.I was totally astonished. Read on:

Friends, haven’t we all heard this story before? This story was always told and quoted to convey that the fox was negative minded. We blindly agreed with the negative connotation and laughed derisively at the fox and called him a loser! This is an old attitude.

Now they have started seeing the fox in a new light.

If each one of us gave undue importance to our every missed goal or opportunity, then don’t you think our life gets too burdensome and doesn’t it rob us of our enthusiasm to live life to its fullest? And doesn’t it blind us with pessimism? Especially in today’s times, when the competition is stiff everywhere, everyone faces failure and rejection at some point or the other. It is a fact. We have to understand that everything we do teaches us something new irrespective of whether we succeed or fail.This is experience and it is invaluable.To dream, to strive and to struggle is the way of life. Simply accept it and remember the quote, “Failure is the stepping stone to success.”

So it is time to change our paradigm and admire this fox’s attitude in a new light. What an attitude he has to pacify his disappointed soul! Yes, I think this much-maligned animal is a great attitude Guru for today’s times. He gives us the message not to cryget disheartened or wallow in self-pity. This guy tells us to change our thinking process, give our best shot and if we are still unsuccessful, shrug off the disappointment, move on and spot the other opportunities!

'The Great Attitude Guru '

Don’t you now see this fox as a flexible guy on the move, a guy who doesn’t believe in crying over the spilt milk, a great guy with loads of optimism and a guy who has the courage to face disappointment with a great attitude?
2.Another argument:-
Now, had he said to himself something like - well I can't reach THOSE grapes so I will do something constructive and go look for some other grapes or maybe a nice long drink of water from a brook - THAT would be a positive attitude.
Otherwise its just like the drunk guy in a bar who yells insults at the girl who just turned down his drunken advances. It's a bad attitude. It may not be his fault that he couldn't reach his goal - but its not the fault of the grapes, either. Insulting them may give the fox some sort of grim, temporary satisfaction, but its not a productive or positive attitude.
The first argument however lifts the spirit of someone who faces dejection.In Indian context, it reminds me of girl viewing ceremony-boys coming after one another, rejecting her under the pretext of colour,complexion, qualification or mismatch of horoscope.Even in these modern days, such things definitely continue.The girl/the girls' parents are  placed in the same situation as that of the fox.
The girl says, 'He is not that great..Perhaps better groom is in store for me."Whether it is a consolation or compromise, the losing side has nothing else to do.
 Edison with his experiment is reported to have failed  thousand times before he could successfully get the incandescent bulb burning bright. When asked why he did not feel frustrated after numerous failures, he quickly responded that the last experiment taught him about the 999 mistakes.
The greatest philosophers say - the greatest glory is not in never falling but in raising every time one falls.

I think the top most management institutions have their attention shifted to Aesop's tales and panchatantra stories.
In MBA terms, the fox meeting with failure dismisses the claim that the grapes were not the ones he wanted and the insignificance gets attached to the non achievable goal.
The inquisitiveness to earn or attain something important transforms the fellow to be creative and look for other alternatives.On every failure an assumption is created about the NON_UTILITARIAN  aspect of the unattainable.
See,the MBA language! The UTILITARIAN VALUE,PREFERENCE CHANGES ,SOCIAL CHOICE etc etc are brought into the simple story of Fox and The Grapes.
The  tenacity of the story bears the moral view that the desires of the people changes with the changes in their whims.
The story seems to give a  platform for analysing ATTITUDE,its role on DECISION MAKING and TRANSFORMATION IN CLASSICAL SITUATIONS .
The story seems to reveal the practical significance of  RATIONALIZATION on the basis of POSSIBILITY.
I was wondering whether the fox would have dreamt of becoming the centre of discussion in an institution that is in the top list of renowned institutions.
In grandma's language," whether the fox's hunger was satiated or not,it could raise its collar and say proudly that it has become a subject matter of study in STANFORD.
Is it not a credit?Every one is after name and fame. Why not the fox?It could even  be awarded MBA degree
                              ****.  ****.   ****.          
*Slightly edited version of the text I received this morning from Exrbites Group member Smt Vathsala Jayaraman (Chennai)


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