So this story has always sorta bothered me.
Not so much as a story, but for the lesson I’m supposed to learn from it.
As a person who’d usually most identify as the turtle in this story, I know I am supposed to take away the idea that hard work, perserverence, and a methodical approach can win the day against speed and flash. Slow and steady wins the race.
The problem, as I see it, is that a rabbit will always beat a turtle in a foot race. Unless, as the story illustrates, the rabbit is a complete fuckoff and is off napping while the turtle maintains his grueling pace and determined focus all the while.
The problem is that there are a lot of focused and determined rabbits out there. And those are hard to beat.
So maybe the lesson isn’t so much about whether or not you can beat the rabbit at his event. Maybe the lesson should be to decide if that’s even the race you want to run. And if it is, maybe the rabbit isn’t the yardstick you use to measure yourself against in the first heat.
Maybe you need to pace yourself against an armadillo first. Or train with the rabbit so you both get better and maybe you can develop more rabbit like tendencies in your racing.
I don’t know all the answers. I do know that you can totally beat that guy as long he doesn’t stay on the path or takes a nap or stops to eat or just generally does something that takes him out of the race so you can toil on into infinity and glory is not the lesson I want my kid to learn.
The real challenge for me is that I identify with both the turtle and the rabbit. Which is to say that I feel slow and steady but I also have a tendency to meander and wander off to take a peak at things and smell the flowers and use run on sentences.
And I’m okay with that. It does mean that I might not be the first in line to win in the rabbit race. But that doesn’t mean I don’t win. Because…
this may come as a surprise,
THAT IS NOT THE ONLY RACE!!
It really isn’t. (But it sure seems like it sometimes, doesn’t it?)