Monday, 23 July 2012

“The Ant and the Grasshopper”

Let me tell you an interesting story I came across, which got me Thinking...
There was the Grasshopper, the Ant, and other insects. It was the summertime and the Grasshopper was always being lazy, idle, and playful with his time. The weather was pleasant and he felt he should enjoy it, so he chose to be lazy and not work. But each time he saw another insect they weren’t being lazy, they were working. When he saw the Ant she was carrying food for the winter. He saw the Bee and he had yellow pollen all over his feet from toiling in flower nectar. He saw the Spider and she was threading her web. The Grasshopper was surprised that they were working while the weather was so beautiful. So he told them, “What are you doing? It’s summertime! Put down the work and have fun!” But they all said, “No, no, Grasshopper. We need to work and gather food for the winter! And you need to be gathering food for the winter too!” But the Grasshopper kept playing and never took heed to their advice.
And then the inevitable happened; winter came.
The snow piled and the wind blew and the Grasshopper was left hungry in the frigid cold. He was so cold and hungry that he asked the Ant for shelter and food. The Ant was appalled at the Grasshopper knowing that he spent his summer days in laziness and didn’t heed their advice to work. So the Ant told him:

“If you play all summer, you’ll go hungry all winter”

Summer represents the times that things are easier and winter represents when things are more difficult. Each of these is only a temporary season that comes and goes during our lives. Summer doesn’t last forever and winter is inevitable. When things are easier for us that is the best moment to prepare for the moments they will not be.  Therefore, the best time to ease our sickness (winter) is by preparing ourselves when we are more healthy (summer); the best time to prepare ourselves for difficult financial times (winter) is by saving money when we do have money (summer). The perfect time to gather what we need is during the time we don’t need it.
The Grasshopper didn’t bother gathering his food during the summer. Consequence: when the winter came, he had nothing to eat and was very cold. Why did he end up like that? He spent his days of vitality – when he had the most time and conditions were most comfortable – to indulge in laziness.  We should learn from him, but we should not be like him. Instead, we need to follow the model of the other insects. How so?

Invest our time in accumulating resources of value.

If we do that, the winters won’t feel as cold and hunger won’t trouble as much or at all. As the summer draws to a close, we are reminded that comfortableness is temporary and difficulties are inevitable. I challenge you to reflect upon your last 90 days and think about yourself in terms of your activity. 
Have you been the Grasshopper or the Ant...?

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