“Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.” ~ Victor Kiam
“It’s always movin’ forward never backward… here’s another classic” ~ Nasir Jones, “Stillmatic (intro)”
The life of the ancient storyteller Aesop is intriguing as his short parables containing animals, with no clear cut origin of his birth, life, and death.
His fables however, have lasted thousands of years.
One particular fable entitled “The Dog and the Wolf” chronicles a tale of a healthy house dog who happens upon an emaciated wolf.
The dog questions the lifestyle of the dog as an “irregular” one because the wolf goes out to hunt for its food instead of receiving due portions from a master as the dog does.
The dog invites the wolf to give up the life of feeding himself to follow him to his owner.
The wolf initially relents and begins following the dog.
On the journey the wolf discovers the dog’s neck hair worn away and questions the dog about the strained condition.
“Oh it’s nothing,” says the dog.
“That is only the place where the collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it chafes a bit, but one soon gets used to it.”
At that very instant the wolf immediately bids farewell to the dog.
The moral of the fable is: “Better to starve free than to be a fat slave.”
Introspection is important part of life in learning, planning, and being honest with ourselves in who we are.
However, as a journal in the American Psychological Association once studied, too much introspection can actually cloud our judgement and decision making.
As we progress through life’s journey, many of us shift our perspective from looking ahead or from the present moment.
We look backward.
We assess whether we are were we thought we would be at an earlier stage in our lives.
We relive our mistakes, our hurts, our failures, our pain.
Like the wolf, we may begin to feel emaciated.
We can talk ourselves out of starting a new business or staying in business, opening our hearts to love again, trying again to have that baby, reconciling a relationship with a family member, going back to school, or making a career change.
In the face of life’s challenges, we choose to settle.
Like the house dog, we reconcile our feelings of disappointment for what we think is contentment, safety, and security, but what we really are doing is making the decision to be chained up.
It may chafe a bit, but soon, we get used to it.
Being chained up is no way to go through life.
Unfulfilled, unexamined, safe.
Looking backward in life may help us learn but inaction in the face thereof can stunt our growth and the ability to fulfill our highest purposes.
Life is full of risks.
We perceive the safe route as not being a risk.
However, there is no greater risk in life than the one of the fading regret of mediocrity.
Going after it all, risking life, limb, and property for that dream that keeps us up at night, is a challenge.
Lean times are aplenty.
We might even encounter people along the way who may look upon us and pity us for taking an “irregular” path.
How the wolf hunts his prey is a matter of debate, but by staying true to himself and his path, the wolf gets full.
It may be a challenge when all of our circumstances and the story replaying in our heads tell us maybe we are not what we thought we were.
In fact, that may be the first sign it’s time to be true to ourselves to keep going.
It’s always moving forward, never backward.
It may just be another classic in the making.
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Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award winning attorney, on air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and yogi. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and a contributing writer and host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast distributed through Wanderlust/Yoganonymous. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including: international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.
© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.