Thinking Out Loud ~ The North Wind and the Sun ~ Wisdom from Aesop’s Fables

Today’s Thinking Out Loud reflection is on Aesop’s Fable, North Wind and the Sun. Aesop’s Fables is available for free download here.

The Fable

“A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun, each

claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed

to try their powers upon a traveler, to see which could soonest

strip him of his cloak. The North Wind had the first try; and,

gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling

furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he

would wrest it from him by one single effort: but the harder he

blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself. Then came

the turn of the Sun. At first he beamed gently upon the traveler,

who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely

about his shoulders: then he shone forth in his full strength, and

the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak

right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.”


Note: We see it all around us. It doesn’t matter where we live. Many believe in the myth that power is better than gentle persuasion. Force may require physical compliance, but it never captures or converts the heart. St. Francis of Assisi said that the best sermons were those preached through one’s actions. Our lives matter and how we act takes on great significance when we realize others are watching us to see if the words we speak align with the actions we take.

Thinking Out Loud ~ There’s a Better Way

Today’s Thinking Out Loud reflection is on Aesop’s Fable, Mischievous Dog. Aesop’s Fables is available for free download here.

The Fable

There was once a Dog who used to snap at people and bite them

without any provocation, and who was a great nuisance to every one

who came to his master’s house. So his master fastened a bell round

his neck to warn people of his presence. The Dog was very proud of

the bell, and strutted about tinkling it with immense satisfaction.

But an old dog came up to him and said, “The fewer airs you give

yourself the better, my friend. You don’t think, do you, that your

bell was given you as a reward of merit? On the contrary, it is a

badge of disgrace.


Note: Have you met people who like to scream and bully people around? I have. These folks will confront anyone who disagrees with them or doesn’t bend to their desires. They have an insatiable need to be important, to always be right, and to maintain their illusion of power. Like the dog in the story, these folks would do much better with a good dose of humiliation. They mistake fear for adoration. It’s always better when we set our ego aside another and understand that we’re not always right; that other people have good ideas and constantly attacking others is not the best way to solve problems.

Thinking Out Loud ~ Learn from Experience

Today’s Thinking Out Loud reflection is on Aesop’s Fable, The Cat and the Mice. Aesop’s Fables is available for free download here.

The Fable

“There was once a house that was overrun with Mice. A Cat heard

of this, and said to herself, “That’s the place for me,” and off

she went and took up her quarters in the house, and caught the Mice

one by one and ate them. At last the Mice could stand it no longer,

and they determined to take to their holes and stay there. “That’s

awkward,” said the Cat to herself: “the only thing to do is to coax

them out by a trick.” So she considered a while, and then climbed

up the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from a peg,

and pretended to be dead. By and by a Mouse peeped out and saw the

Cat hanging there. “Aha!” it cried, “you’re very clever, madam, no

doubt: but you may turn yourself into a bag of meal hanging there,

if you like, yet you won’t catch us coming anywhere near you.”


Note: There are lots of slicks folks who want to take advantage of us. We get warned about scams coming through on emails or text messages. They may be a politician or someone we work with. We may not recognize it in the moment when someone is taking advantage of us. But we can learn from the experience and not be taken advantage of again. Experience can be a tough teacher. Anytime we refuse to be taken advantage of, we become stronger and wiser. We don’t have to be a victim. We are empowered people if we choose to be.

Poem for Today ~ Loss and Gain

Loss and Gain

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.


Feel Good Tip ~ Acting Moderately

Acquiring Wisdom

I know a guy who always does things to the extremes whether it’s exercise, working, eating, or other endeavors. He’s frequently telling me about his aches and pains. He is unable to link his actions to the consequences he experiences in his body. There’s something to be said for moderation. It takes wisdom to know when it’s time to push the plate away. It takes wisdom to know when to stop exercising and enter a recovery period. It takes wisdom to know when to set work aside and relax. Acquiring the wisdom to act moderately is a giant step toward feeling good.

Poem of the Day


Siegfried Sassoon

Then a wind blew;
And he who had forgot he moved
Lonely amid the green and silver morning weather,
Suddenly grew
Aware of clouds and trees
Gleaming and white and shafted, shaken together
And blown to music by the ruffling breeze.Like flush of wings
The moment passed: he stood
Dazzled with blossom in the swaying wood;
Then he remembered how, through all swift things,
This mortal scene stands built of memories,—
Shaped by the wise
Who gazed in breathing wonderment,
And left us their brave eyes
To light the ways they went.

Today’s Poem ~ The Tables Turned

The Tables Turned

William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless–
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:–
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.


Today’s Positive Thought ~ Be Big Enough to Admit Mistakes

Be big enough to admit mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them (John C. Maxwell).”

It takes heaps of courage to admit when we’re wrong. Insecure people, those without a foundation to stand on,  have difficulty admitting mistakes and learning from them. Mistakes are our teachers. When we learn from them, we grow in knowledge and wisdom. Mistakes always open new doors for us. They show us which paths are the wrong paths and turn us in new directions. 

Think About It ~ Did you know how rich you are?

Did you know how rich you are? I’m not speaking of investments, bank accounts, or other forms of accumulated wealth. I’m speaking of the treasure of knowledge, wisdom, and experience you’ve collected throughout your life. Think about how much you know and the wide diversity of your knowledge. Each day you’ve lived you’ve learned something, intentionally or unintentionally and gained both knowledge and experience.  When you tie knowledge and experience together you produce a unique form of wisdom that no one else has. When you consider all the knowledge, experience, and wisdom you have, you have to admit that you can do anything you put your mind to doing. Why not do something great. C’mon, you can do it. You have everything you need.

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