Lessons Learned the Easier Way

Today’s memo is an adapted version of a fable by Aesop.

he Lion, the Fox, and the Donkey went hunting together one afternoon, catching a large quantity of game. As they prepared to go their separate ways, the Lion asked the Donkey to divide the spoils.

The Donkey sorted everything into three piles, taking extra care to give everyone an equal share.

When the Lion looked at the three evenly distributed stacks, he decided he didn’t like what he saw. So he pounced on the Donkey, killing him in an instant, and tossed him on top of his pile.

Then he turned to Fox and said, “Divide the spoils.”

The Fox quickly put everything in one huge pile. Then he cautiously took for himself the carcass of a single small crow, and slowly backed away.

“Very good,” said the Lion. “But I must ask, where did you learn how to divide things so evenly?”

The Fox said, “It’s something I picked up from the Donkey.”

* * * * *

It’s one thing to learn from experience, from your own mistakes. It’s quite another to be able learn from the mistakes of others. The first is somewhat uncommon; the second is extremely rare.

Many of the stories of the Old Testament serve this purpose: They offer a chance to learn life’s most important lessons, without having to personally endure the inevitable hard knocks that come with experience.

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction…(1 Corinthians 10:11)

May we learn to learn from the example of others.