Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Parable for Organizers

I've heard the following story told about Moses Coady for whom the Coady Institute was named, Myles Horton who founded Highlander Center in Tennessee, and various other people. The "folk process" has kept it alive and well for a long time:

A father and son were riding along slowly in their horse-drawn cart as they returned home from town. The father was flicking a whip to snap flies out of the air to save the horse from being pestered. The boy watched and watched as his father skillfully snapped the whip, each time hitting his target perfectly. Flies fell to the ground by the dozens. After some time the boy turned to his father and said, “Dad, can you teach me how to do that?” “Sure, son,” said the father with a smile and handed his son the whip. The boy took some time to learn how to use the whip and after much concentration and many attempts he hit his first fly. As they drove along, the boy practiced and was soon hitting most of the flies he aimed at. Then he saw a big, fat bug swing into his view and he took aim. Just before he snapped the whip his father grabbed his arm and stopped him. The boy turned to his father and asked, “why’d you stop me?”

“Look at that bug, son, it’s a bee.”

“So?” the boy said.

“Son,” the father replied, “those bugs are organized.”

No comments: