Lesson Quickie: The Fox and the Fermented Grapes

Most of us know the story of “The Fox and the Grapes” (not to be confused with the thinly veiled racism metaphor The Fox and the Hound.) If you don’t, shame on the sparse environment you were raised in and read it here. And if you’re too lazy to read even that, I can sum it up for you first-grade-primer style:

Fox sees grapes on tree.
Fox jumps up for grapes on tree.
Fox fails.
Fox says “Fuck the grapes. They’re probably nasty.”
Fox walks away.

First graders these days are saying “fuck,” right? I digress. The moral of this fable is that it’s easy to disdain what’s hard to reach. It’s where the term “sour grapes” comes from.

Grapes Flip Flops | The Big Blog of All the Shit I Know

Google searching “flipping off grapes”…

However, if there’s anything we’ve learned together on our magical journey through this blog, it’s that the stories we accept with the fewest questions are the ones that we should question most. While the most accepted interpretation of the story is the fox rejecting the grapes out of pride and lack of ambition, another perspective to take would be this: It is often more wise to disdain the unreachable than it is to try to reach them. 

A story many middle class Americans  are raised on is “The Rudy Effect,” the belief that trying your darndest is enough to lead you to success. No. Just, no. As the wise and powerful Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” You either make it on the team or you don’t. Get the promotion or you don’t. Get the girl/guy/it or don’t. The underdog is not always so glorious a position – not without a helluva lot of hard work (and a sprinkle of luck). If a goal you’ve set is realistically unreachable and will only cause you pain and detriment in the pursuit of it, then let it go, let it go…

Dammit, Disney. Damn you to hell.

Quickie Wrap-up:

Sour grapes can be turned to wine. But only from the branches you can actually reach.

Recommended Reading:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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7 thoughts on “Lesson Quickie: The Fox and the Fermented Grapes

  1. “The underdog is not always so glorious a position – not without a helluva lot of hard work (and a sprinkle of luck).”

    We like to think of ourselves as rooting for the underdog. At the same time there’s an awful lot of Lucys in this world. They root for the Charlie Browns right up til the moment of truth and then they snatch the football away and blame the Charlie Browns for their failure. Everybody needs a leg up.

    • That is definitely true, which makes the martyristic underdog that much more appealing to many. We all really do need a leg up. If only we had safe places to look for those fellow leg-uppers, without the paranoia that everyone around us is a Lucy.

    • Sure is. I’d love to see it on some sort of school curriculum – only taught by a socially savvy instructor, of course, who will act more as a facilitator than an all-knowing authority of the material. It’s got history written in a way that’s actually interesting to learn about.

      Dare to dream, eh?

  2. Oh, nice one. Grades 1 through 3 should be broken up into three-period days, arranged as such:

    Period One: Reading/Writing/Art
    Period Two: Math/Problem solving/Geography
    Period Three: Aesop’s tales

    • Could be worth changing up a bit. Current structure of public education is already boring enough. Maybe more heavy on Aesop and as they get older, introduce the original Hans Christian Andersen tales to disenchant their hopefully not-too-Disneyfied minds.

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