I am going to take some time to tell you a story that all of you are familiar with.
Once upon a time, there was a tortoise and a hare. The tortoise, needless to say, was very slow, while the hare was quite fast. One day, the tortoise and the hare decided to have a race. The moment it began, the hare bolted ahead, while the tortoise plodded along behind. Eventually, when it neared the end of the race, the hare looked back to see that the tortoise was nowhere to be found. Deciding that there was no chance for the tortoise to catch up, the hare laid down for a nap. It fell asleep, and while it slept, the tortoise trudged past it and across the finish line. And so, the hare made a complete fool of itself. The end.
This story is a classic. It’s simple, has memorable animal characters, and teaches children a valuable lesson: Slow and steady wins the race. Additionally, it may inspire kids to become track athletes someday.
Except that it doesn’t. Not at all.
We’re all taught that this is the moral of the story, for some inexplicable reason, which is completely untrue. The tortoise did not win because he was slow. By all accounts, the hare should have won. The ONLY reason the hare lost was because, in its arrogance, it decided to take a nap in the middle of a race. In the middle of a race! I mean, who does that?!
“Slow and steady wins the race” is a nice little piece of advice, but it’s supposed to be metaphorical. It doesn’t apply to actual races. The hare didn’t lose because it was running fast. It lost because it was an egotistical moron. The moral of the story isn’t “slow and steady wins the race”. It’s “don’t be an egotistical moron”.
As for the purpose of this little rant? I’d say it’s “don’t just blindly accept what other people tell you”. But in the spirit of that message, I won’t complain if you come up with a better one on your own. What do you think the meaning of the tortoise and the hare is?