Posted by jlubans on August 29, 2018

Caption: A still from the movie, The Apartment, 1960

“WHAT a fuss every one is making!
How wanting in manners!" observed, with respect to a shower, a Stone which lay in a field.
Have the kindness to look. Every one is delighted with it. They have longed for it as if it were the best of guests; but what is it that it has done?
It has come for a couple of hours or so—no more.
But they should make a few inquiries about me. Why I have lain here for centuries.
Modest and unassuming, I lie quietly where I am thrown.
And yet I have never heard from a single person so much as a
“Thank you!”
It is not without reason that the World gets reviled. I cannot see a grain of justice anywhere in it.
“Hold your tongue!" exclaimed a Worm.
"This shower, brief as it has been, has abundantly watered the fields, which wеге being rendered sterile by drought, and has revived the hopes of the farmer.
But you contribute nothing to the ground but a useless weight.

Thus many a man will boast of having served the state for forty years; but as for being useful, he has never been a bit more so than the Stone.

Let’s allegorize this and make the Stone the (unhappy) worker or office holder.

The pleasing Shower is the budget or budgetary authority.
The Worm is - of course - us, the customer.
In other words the infamous “iron triangle” of budgetary theory.
As you can tell from Krylov’s epimythium (the last two lines) his target is the czar’s officialdom, the do-nothing office holders, the bureaucrats behind guarded doors with the power to approve (with rubber stamps, embossings, seals, and ribbons) or more likely to Deny us, the Worms, what we want.
Bureaucracies were never set up to frustrate people; their mission (usually emblazoned above the front door) is to serve.
Now living two years in Salem, Oregon, I am taken with how well the state’s DMV (department of motor vehicles) works: fast and courteous service with knowledgeable and pleasant staff – how Oregonian!
Not a sour puss in the bunch, not a one “afflicted with office.”
Especially notable since “the DMV” is the public’s derisive term for all that is wrong with America’s governmental offices.

*Source: Krilof and his fables, by Krylov, Ivan Andreevich, 1768-1844; Ralston, William Ralston Shedden, 1828-1889. Tr. London, 1869.
To purchase a copy of Fables for Leaders, click on this button:

Or, get thee a copy at AMAZON.

For those living in small spaces, use your public library. They will order a copy if you ask.

© Copyright John Lubans 2018
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