Lessons from the tortoise

Tortoise looks you in the face as if ready to speak

I’ve always had problems accomplishing things as quickly as others. For example, when the teacher said, “After you finish the test, you may turn in your paper and leave,” I was usually one of the last to leave, though I worked as quickly as I could.

Aesop’s story “The Hare and the Tortoise” (see previous post) has taught me a lot about speed. With all due respect to Mr. Aesop, though, I’d have listed the tortoise first in the title. After all, not only did the tortoise finish first, he was the winner in common sense values as well.

Some days, in my struggle to see, I feel I can’t even keep pace with the tortoise. But if I can keep pace with the values I learned from him, that will be enough. Here are some things I’ve learned from the tortoise:

  • We can only reach the right finish line if our priorities are right.
  • We need to set reasonable goals that match our abilities.
  • We should never measure ourselves by the hare.
  • Chasing rabbits will only lead us astray.
  • Everyone can do his or her best.
  • It’s not how fast you make it to the finish line, it’s that you are fair and faithful in the journey.
  • It’s okay to whilstle a tune and enjoy the scenery along the way — I’ll bet the tortoise did!
  • When we cross our final finish line someday, we will all be judged by the One who set the course.

Photo credit: Sarah Avayou

4 thoughts on “Lessons from the tortoise”

  1. You are strong, I wish my daughter is as strong as you too. Yes she had it too. Here we call it lazy eyes. She had to wear a thick eye glass, and it ain’t no cheap here. So everyday I have to remind her to take care her glasses to avoid damage. But kid just be kid, I already change the spectacle 3 times. Regardless her eyes problem, she is very bright and active kid. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for bringing this post to my attention again! it’s been 5 1/2 years since I wrote it, and I needed to be reminded of it again today!

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