Words to the Wise: “Beware Lest You Lose Substance”

lose substanceAnother Aesop’s fable today – this one called “The Dog and the Shadow”:

“It happened that a dog had found a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. On his way back to his home, he occasioned to cross a wooden plank lying across a fast-running brook.

As he crossed the plank, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the burbling water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that piece too. So, he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water, and was promptly swept away and never again seen.

Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”

Don’t let slip the things you have that are real and substantive in the pursuit of the ephemeral, the prospective, or the offhandedly promised.

This is not to say you should not be willing to set it all aside and go after something bigger or something better. But make sure you do it intelligently, and be aware of what you’re giving up, or might be giving up, when you do so, so you can make the best and most informed decision about which path to trod.



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