The Parable of the Frogs

Filed in Living by on July 14, 2016 0 Comments

A green frog mid air of the jump

A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was they agreed it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit they should prepare themselves for their fate.

Unwilling to accept this, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless and that the two frogs wouldn’t be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. Other of the frogs sorrowfully shouted that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could and after several hours of desperate effort were extremely weary.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief.

The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted.

His companions began anew, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder, and wonder of wonders, finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit! Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathered around him and asked, “Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?”

Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them he was deaf and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.

 

This story contains a powerful lesson. Your words of encouragement can lift someone up and help them achieve the seemingly impossible, and conversely, your negative words can cause great harm.

Oh, and it also teaches that we should never listen to naysayers!

 

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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