Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lessons from The Tortoise and the Hare

My favorite Aesop's fable is the
The Tortoise and the Hare: The slow tortoise wins his/her own race every time.

Although I have applied some elements of this philosophy longer than the four years I have intentionally lived a simpler life, (I started in 2005), I keep reading material by sooooo many others who are winning in life by moving slower in everything. What's the rush? Why hurry if you aren't trying to catch a bus or train? (By the way, if you miss the bus, another one is coming...I've said this out loud to commuters so many times during the 2 years I used public transportation. Hahahahahaha.)

The best part about The Tortoise and the Hare is that the tortoise knows full well who s/he is and that although there is a level playing field, s/he will never be like the hare. There's no reason to compete except against self and what s/he knows is in him/her to do. That's it!

There's no reason for me compete with anyone beyond a video or board game or maybe how many calories I can burn in an hour at the gym but why do that? Competitive folks are astounded when they realize that many people around them are not in competition with them. It's very interesting to watch. Watching them move at lightning speed or bounce around until they wear themselves out encourages me to move even slower in their presence or else they will start to stress me out and they often do.

I'm not proposing that the hares become like tortoises: Everyone can freely live according to their God given core personalities/abilities and we can live in harmony. I've learned that my life is simpler when I don't try to act like a hare: I can learn from the rabbits but I'm not one of them. I've even learned that we like some of the same foods. (smiling)

So, in an effort to decrease judgment and stress when I find myself in the company of rabbits, I mind my own business, listen to and try to encourage them to compete against themselves 'cause I'm not interested in competing: I steadily advance one slow step at a time toward making my own life work for me. If we can exchange what works in our own pursuits of happiness in an effort to create a collaborative, supportive community, all the better: To me, that's real living. Maybe we can start by sharing healthy carrot soup recipes. Freedom!


  1. Stephanie: I love your site, such truth and such an entertaining way to read about it. It's nice to know that I'm not crazy for not wanting to spend money all the time. Thanks, Maria

  2. Maria,

    No, you are not crazy! Thanks for your kind words!