We have been studying the story of the Owl and the Grasshopper by Aesop this week during our language arts lessons.
In the story, a grasshopper is busily making music in the middle of the day next to the home of a sleeping owl. The owl, upon awakening, asks the grasshopper to leave. It is day time and owls sleep during the day.
The grasshopper claims that he has rights to play and ignores the owl’s request.
The owl is a sneaky little fellow. When the grasshopper begins to play his music, he interrupts the grasshopper with a tale about his special wine sent to him from the gods above. Rumor has it that Apollo himself drinks the same wine. Would the grasshopper like to share a drink? The grasshopper quickly agrees and excitedly jumps to the home of the owl.
When – wack! The owl pounces upon the grasshopper and eats him right up.
The moral of this story is: Do not let flattery throw you off your guard against an enemy.
I would like to take it one step further.
Sometimes people have the tendency to look around for outside validation to support who they are and what they should be doing in their lives. They spend their time strapped to a treadmill, counting calories, and obsessively updating their social media statuses in an attempt to win the flattery of others. While flattery is nice to receive, it should not dictate lives.
Running around in search of kind words and the “wine of Apollo” is not a happy life to live. Fragile, insecure, flattery-addicted-hearts are easy to “wack down” with unkind words – intentional or not. And instead of living a life with purpose, the person looking for flattery will spend their entire life chasing around those compliments instead of fulfilling their life mission and dreams.
In the end, the desire to receive kind words gobbles up a person’s soul. Dreams should never be sacrificed for a “wine” that doesn’t exist. Do not let flattery throw you off your guard and away from your life dreams.