Sour grapes

1 04 2019

Sour grapes

A hungry fox wanders through the forest for food with no avail. At last it finds a grape vine with a bunch of grapes hanging from the top. The fox gets excited and thrilled. However, the grapes are just out of reach for the fox and its repeated attempts to jump high to grab the bunch fail. After several attempts the fox gives up and moves away muttering to itself that those grapes are sour and he does not want them.

Moral of the story – What you can’t have, you find it undesirable.

Like many others, I have been hearing and reading this story since my childhood. But I guess I never really understood it until recently. It makes me think that wisdom cannot be imparted, it has be gained and realized. Often it takes decades to truly understand certain things.

The above story seems like a simple and straight-forward story and the “moral of the story” statement doesn’t usually leave much for interpretation. Intellectually, it is easy to grasp. Nevertheless, as I grew up my reactions to this fable ranged mostly from perplexity to miscomprehension. Confusion because I really didn’t understand why the fox hates the grapes when he realizes he cannot have them. Usually, I experience the reverse in similar situations. When something is denied or out of reach, it just makes me desire it more vehemently. Later at some point, I thought the fox is stupid when he moved on.  Then, that the fox is a failure for giving up too easily. You notice the progression here? These interpretations reflect in part my maturity (or lack thereof) and in part the beliefs (or misconceptions) that I held based on my circumstances and surroundings. Giving up on one’s dreams or desires is largely seen as a failure and perseverance as virtue. Only now, after 3 decades, do I finally understand how wise the fox really is and thereby the  significance of the story.

There is no point in hanging around for impossible things. Impossible, maybe not by definition, but rather within the boundaries of one’s circumstances and capabilities. And when you quit and move on, it’s neither a failure nor a reflection of your worth or capabilities. It’s success instead. You are no longer longing for it or feel dejected. You just move on and focus on other/different things. Now I’m confident without a doubt that the grapes must indeed be sour!


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: