It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

09 December 2008

On Flowers and Matters of Consequence.

Our intrepid traveler, the little prince, before he arrived on planet earth, travelled to many other worlds, encountering a different sort of person on each one: a king who claimed to rule the stars, but who did not have their allegiance; a conceited man who only wished to be admired, but who never received any visitors; a tippler who drank to forget his shame at being a tippler; a businessman concerned with "matters of consequence" who counted the stars and thus believed he owned them, a lamplighter who lights and extinguishes a lamp because he was ordered to do so, and has not been ordered to stop; and a geographer who had no concept of the geography of his own planet as he was not an explorer.  It was on the geographer's planet that the little prince experienced a moment of regret.  He left someone behind on his planet when he decided to go on his walkabout through the stars: a flower with only four thorns to defend herself against the world.  It is because of this that, once on earth, the little prince finds himself concerned about the conflict between flowers and sheep.

He inquires of the misanthropic pilot as to whether sheep would eat flowers, even if they had thorns, to which the pilot replies, "A sheep eats anything it finds in its reach," even flowers with thorns.

On hearing this the little prince begins to wonder what the point of having thorns is, if they offer no protection from the sheep.  The pilot, who was fixing his engine, failed to answer properly, claiming he was involved in "matters of consequence," the same phrase uttered by the businessman who claimed to own the stars.  The little prince flew into a rage.
"The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years. For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same. And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them? Is the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important? Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman's sums? And if I know-- I, myself-- one flower which is unique in the world, which grows nowhere but on my planet, but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning, without even noticing what he is doing-- Oh! You think that is not important!"
 "If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there...' But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened... And you think that is not important!"
How much different are we from the flower?  In the end, what do we have to defend ourselves with against the sheep?  And how do we protect what is most dear to us?  Is this not a matter of consequence?  And who are you really?  Are you the king of nothing, a lamplighter who follows orders?  Who are you?  And what is most important to you in this world?  What are the things, that if you lose them will darken the stars for you forever?  Is it your family?  Your children?  Your freedom?  What do you have that you would lay down your life to protect?  This is a matter of consequence.  Now, when we find ourselves drawing inexorably closer to an unknown, an unpredictable time when the only thing certain is the uncertain, these matters of consequence need to be dealt with.

No comments: