Lubans’ Tom the Turkey’s Tale

Posted by jlubans on July 31, 2021

Caption: Tom’s mates no more. Photo by author.

First published in late 2017, this fable seems more apt today. Here it is again.

Once in winter, a flock of wild turkeys made its circuitous way across farmlands and through forests. There were two dozen, young and old.
One of the older turkeys, Tom by name, somehow mangled his foot and could not keep up.
He called to the flock and asked them to slow down, but no one responded. When the group stopped to graze, Tom caught up, only to be shunned, now a persona non grata.
Several of the healthy turkeys ganged up, surrounding Tom – wings outspread - and sought to peck him to death.
Tom escaped by flying into the branches of a sheltering tree.
A kindly Farmer saw this and put out corn and water.
Whenever the flock returned – eating up all of Tom’s food - Tom would drop down from the tree and limp over to the flock, only to be viciously pecked at.
Thanks to the Farmer and time (and the sheltering tree), Tom’s foot got better; he limped less. Then, one day, he disappeared.

Moral for the workplace: When you see something like what happened to Tom do you participate in the shunning or are you like the Farmer?
When a workmate is ostracized do you lend a helping hand or look the other way?
The flock not only wants to spurn and shame Tom, they want him dead.
Now, in the “Woke, Dox, and Cancel” era some of us daily appear as mean-spirited as Tom’s turkeys. Those atavistic turkey neurons driving the elimination of a weak member of a flock – all for the greater good, of course - seem to be coursing freely in some human brains.
Where’s it lead?
Take a guess.
If your answer includes words like re-education, concentration camps, or gulags you’re getting warm.
A few of my internet friends want people with differing (“misinformed”) opinions silenced and in a few cases, better dead than read. And, preferably, they’d like to see them well “spindled, bent and mutilated” prior to death.
To mangle a phrase, what turkeys these mortals be!
Whence the Golden Rule, Kindness, and Cooperation? Those qualities have helped us evolve and prosper – they still can.

Like this fable? Buy my latest book of workplace fables

And, don’t forget my book on democratic workplaces, Leading from the Middle is available at Amazon.

© Copyright John Lubans 2021

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