Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sun and the Wind

I heard this fable as a child and it has always stuck in my mind.  I think it is especially relevant to what I've been writing about on this blog.

The Sun and the Wind were chatting one autumn day, and the Wind started boasting about how great he was.

"I am much more powerful than you are, Sun," he said.  "Sure, you can make things a little brighter, but I can pick things up and move them around.  I bet you could not lift so much as a single leaf."

"You are mistaken, Wind.  I am more powerful than you think.  I accept your wager ... See that man down there, in the jacket?  Whoever can pull that jacket from his back wins."

"Ha.  That is nothing.  I've uprooted trees.  I accept your wager."

"You can go first," said the Sun.

So the Wind started blowing.  At first the man was caught off guard, and his jacket almost slipped off, but he quickly wrapped it around himself, zipped it up, and buttoned it.

"You haven't seen what I can do yet," said the Wind.  He blew harder and harder, until the man ducked his head and curled up.  No luck yet.

The wind blew still harder.  A tree nearby was uprooted.  When the man saw this, he ran and took cover in a little cave.

"Ah well," said the Wind.  "Bad luck.  But I doubt if you can do better, especially now that he is hiding."

"Just watch," said the Sun.  Gradually, he started to shine.  When the man saw that the weather had cleared, he came out of his cave and started on his way.  But as the Sun grew brighter and brighter, the man started to pant and sweat, first unbuttoning his jacket, then unzipping it, and finally taking it off.

"You see?" said the Sun.


  1. Love leads to change. =) That's what it symbolizes to me. Life isn't perfect - love it anyway, and it will probably change. It will respond to the love. Same with people, most of the time (of course, it's completely up to them). Love them for everything good that they are (not because you want to change them, but because everyone has something to be loved, and we are all brothers and sisters), and they will grow.

    My random thoughts anyway. =)

  2. I would interpret this as a parable about 'thinking outside the box', or about challenging our assumptions. The Wind assumed that 'powerful' meant physically moving things around and effecting change. The Sun knew that he held a different kind of power: the power to change people's environment and influence their actions. Great story.