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 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.
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.
Sour grapes can be turned to wine. But only from the branches you can actually reach.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell