Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ethics for Activists - 6

I just used this story in an article i've written for a book on art and activism. I love this story. I've found versions of it from a number of different cultures - from Japan's zen tradition of koans to Medieval European morality tales.

A man was walking across a field when he noticed a tiger stalking him. He ran, the tiger chasing after him. He came to a cliff, caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Terrified, the man looked down and saw that, far below, were jagged rocks that would as surely be his doom as was the tiger above. Just then, two mice, one white and one black, began to gnaw at the vine. It was then that the man noticed a strawberry, fat and ripe, on the cliff wall near him. He knew that if he grabbed the strawberry his grip on the vine would not last long. He plucked the strawberry and ate it. The strawberry tasted so sweet.

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