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Aesop: In His 3rd Millenium
VI. Hercules and The Carter

About Perseverance...


A Guide to this Site | Did Aesop Exist? | I. The Lion and The Mouse | II. The Scorpion and The Ladybug | III. The Dog in the Manger | IV. The Ants and The Grasshopper | V. The Frog and the Chrysalis | VI. Hercules and The Carter | VII. The Fox and his Tale | VIII. An Elephant, A Bear, and a Katydid | IX. The Spider, the Cockerel, the Sheep, and the Ram | X. The Farmer and the Snake | XI. The Lion, The Fox, and the Ass | XII. The Dog, the Cat, and the Bear | XIII. The Ship and the Whale | XIV. The Duckling, the Hawk, and the Mallard



"The gods help those who help themselves."

A Carter drove his heavily laden wagon down a country lane. The team faltered on the rough byway, which was pockmarked by ruts and sinkholes after the heavy rains. All at once one of the wheels of the huge cart sank into a deep hole.

The rustic driver was disgusted. He remained on the driving seat, looking down at the wagon wheel, buried to the axel in oozing mud. He didn't like mud. He, in fact, remained atop the cart and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules, the strongest of the gods, to help him.

Hercules appeared, it is said [don't ask me who Aesop quoted], and addressed the whining Carter:

"Put your shoulders to the wheels, you dork. Goad the oxen! Don't ask for help until you have done your best to help yourself, or, depend on it, you will find I won't hear a thing you have to say."

Some think that Bill Gates is an ultra-billionaire because he is smart. Others think he is crooked. Still others think he was just lucky or had "pull."

Bill Gates did not so much have "pull"; he had "push." Hard, physical "push." Persistence. Sacrifice. (Yes, because single-mindedness is a sacrifice, denying a person a lot of pleasure and joy and comfort along the way.) Folks who put their shoulders to the Cart are not lazy. They are more impatient to get the job done than to stand around, wringing their hands.

The lazy man never finds true pleasure in life. Phoney past-times, yes. The real thing? No. And he often doesn't realize until too late that he has embraced a life of boredom.

So, against all odds, soldier on. The reward: a transcendent experience of accomplishment. No better "high" exists.