Phaedrus’ THE PANTHER AND SHEPHERD*

Posted by jlubans on July 26, 2018

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Caption: Bullies beware.

Their scorn comes home to them again
Who treat the wretched with disdain.

A careless Panther long ago
Fell in a pit, which overthrow
The Shepherds all around alarm’d;
When some themselves with cudgels arm’d;
Others threw stones upon its head;
But some in pity sent her bread,
As death was not the creature’s due.
The night came on—the hostile crew
Went home, not doubting in the way
To find the Panther dead next day.
But she, recovering of her strength,
Sprang from the pit and fled at length.
But rushing in a little space
From forth her den upon the place,
She tears the flock, the Shepherd slays,
And all the region round dismays.
Then they began to be afraid
Who spared the beast and lent their aid;
They reck not of the loss, but make
Their pray’r for life, when thus she spake:
“I well remember them that threw
The stones, and well remember you
Who gave me bread—desist to fear,
For ’twas the oppressor brought me here.”

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So, a warning for those who mistreat others with impunity (or so they think.)
Reading this, Rambo came to mind.
Rambo the much afflicted Vietnam vet who wreaks havoc on his persecutors.
Phaedrus’ panther does the same, “She tears the flock, the Shepherd slays”.
But, for those displaying kindness, the panther says, No worries, “desist to fear”.
And so it can be in the workplace. We may not seek to intentionally destroy anyone, but we may be unethical to get ahead.
When given the choice to do something unsavory in order to move up, do we go along to get ahead? Or, do we say No?
If we acquiesce, do we suffer or do our excuses give us cover?
Does the panther ever come to call?

*Source: The Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse. Phaedrus. Christopher Smart, A. M. London. G. Bell and Sons, Ltd. 1913.

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© Copyright John Lubans 2018

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