Aesop's Fables

If this book was a holy book, it would be interesting to see what types of extremism would result. Nevertheless, given the teachings that are on offer in Aesop's Fables, it probably should be just as revered as the Bible or the Koran. For here we find advice on all manners of things: how to live your life, human nature, business, war.

When I am older and retired and have the time, perhaps I will one day sit down again with this book and jot down my personal interpretations of the fables to give an indication of my philosophies. But for now I will content myself by being awed by just how many of our sayings today have their root with Aesop. Sayings such as:
  • Notoriety is often mistaken for fame
  • Honesty is the best policy
  • Necessity is the mother of invention
  • Don't count your chickens before they're hatched
  • You cannot believe a liar even when he tells the truth
  • Do not attempt too much at once
  • Quality, not quantity
  • Pride comes before a fall
Other sayings that I thought rather poignant were:
  • Look and see which way the wind blows before you commit yourself
  • Betray a friend and you'll often find you have ruined yourself
  • Persuasion is better than force
  • Better poverty without a care than wealth with its many obligations
  • Misfortune tests the sincerity of friendship
  • Do not waste your pity on a scamp
  • Evil tendencies are early shown
  • Give assistance, not advice, in a crisis
  • They complain most who suffer least
  • A hypocrite deceives no one but himself
  • All men are more concerned to recover what they lose than to acquire what they lack
Occasionally, there was a tale that completely baffled me, like the one recounted below.

The Moon and her mother
The moon once begged her mother to make her a gown. "How can I?" replied she. "There's no fitting your figure. At one time you're a new moon, and at another you're a full moon; and between whiles you're neither one nor the other."

I suppose this could mean don't ask for the impossible.

Overall, I found that some of the themes in the fables were repeated, but this is a wise book to read and an even wiser one to follow.


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