There is a hare and a tortoise who wish to have a race. The hare runs swiftly, goes ahead to win the race. Seems a plausible one line alternative to the classic version that we grew up hearing, doesn't it? But it would be difficult to find this version in Aesop's Fables.
Yet, it seems strange that we as kids accepted the story of the hare and the tortoise without doubt when our parents or grandmothers read it to us. Now, it seems hard to believe.
The trouble with the fables is that they are meant to amuse and instruct, and are written for kids. The writer assumes an ideal world, where everything goes according to some master plan that he may have in mind. Reality may be very different. What will happen when the thin ice breaks and a child sees reality for the first time, so far removed from the fables that he has heard?
Yet, the ideal world continues to haunt us throughout life. In school, we are always taught stuff in the ideal world. Non-ideal is too hard to deal with, so we conveniently ignore it. We go ahead to become engineers. Again, we are taught the ideal, and told that the world is non-ideal, so we need to deal with it. Some can, most of the others, so immersed in the ideal, cannot.
A friend criticised me for not sticking to one topic and drifting so much in the course of a single post. In an ideal world, with all things uncorrelated (a white noise process), it might have been possible. Yet, in the non-ideal head that I have, many thoughts are correlated, and it becomes difficult to control the drift.
Which makes me realize that the drift is indeed becoming dangerous. So, I go back to the main reason I wrote this post.
Indeed, most of the books that I read too may have the same ideal world described. Harry Potter for one. But I refrain from criticising that any more. The last time I criticised the series, I lost some
friends on facebook. No, I shall refrain from criticising any particular book, but just mention some of the books wherein the world is too ideal to be real. Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, is a great book, with a lot of freshness and innocence, but the portrayal of life is too ideal to be true. Nevertheless, it remains one of my favourites.
Jim Stovall's novel, The Ultimate Gift too seems to be too ideal to be true. I mean, considering the spoilt brat that Jason was, would he actually go soil his arms working on a farm, just based on some crazy whim of his grandfather?
But now that I think of it, almost all books have a central theme, a protagonist overcomes intense conflict and against all odds, goes on to succeed. Would this not be true only in an ideal world, or in cases of extreme luck? I think so. Yet a book without an intense conflict followed by an eventual victory of the protagonist would not be as popular.
Why is it that we so like the ideal carefree world, in contrast to the cruel world out here? Why do we fool ourselves by thinking that such a world really is possible? It is indeed a dangerous act, to forget that we live in a really cruel world, and to seek comfort in the ideal world that writers would have us believe exists.
I missed posting on international women's day. Now, it is too late to post anything substantial, however, I leave you with this video of Harry Belafonte singing
Man smart (Woman smarter)