Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE FOX, THE DONKEY AND THE LION*”

Posted by jlubans on April 05, 2013

20130405-fox lione.jpg
Caption: The fox in C.Y.A. mode.The lion ain't buyin'.

“The fox and the donkey were partners in a hunting expedition but when they encountered a lion, the fox recognized the danger they were in. She went to the lion and offered to betray the donkey if the lion would promise to spare her life in return. The lion agreed to let the fox go, and the fox then led the donkey into a trap and made him fall in. Once he saw that the donkey could not escape, the lion immediately seized the fox, saving the donkey for later. 
Likewise, it is often the case that if you plot against your associates, you will be destroyed together with them.”

Machiavelli may not have liked this fable. It speaks of a base treachery and deviousness, with the tables turned on the conniver – not the Machiavelli way. Conniving at work might not get you eaten by a lion but it’s rarely without some bad karma accruing on the perpetrator; a psychological erosion of credibility, respect and accomplishment for the person who “plots against his associates.”

*Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.

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Posted by Dinah O-Brien on April 05, 2013  •  08:56:23

The fable is true. Experienced this last year and now karma is having its go. But how does one watch this happening to a colleague and maintain individual integrity? Speaking up for what is right often leads to consequences. But in this case the consequences are worth being true to ones convictions.

Posted by jlubans on April 06, 2013  •  13:12:04

Great case study, I think. We should be able to talk about these kinds of situations and what we can or cannot do, before they happen to us. Library schools do not teach this, nor does ALA for all I know.
What you describe is an ethical question and one on which it would be good to have several perspectives, from the absolute certain to the not so sure.
One does not always know, instinctively, what to do.
All the best, Dinah!

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