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« Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Speech | Harvard Commencement 2016 | Main | I didn't do it, The System did. »

June 16, 2016

Comments

Venkat

Good Timing. Thanks for sharing.

PV

Very well written! This message is so universal. You are so thoughtful.

BHSC

Great reflection.. thank you for sharing!

George

I just read the story you sent me and it is so timely 

microCEO

We live in a time of accelerated change, in which we can no longer expect to find many prospects for "stable, lifetime employment". Many of the technologies on which we *rely* did not even exist 25 years ago. Moreover, many of the jobs that are standard for both blue-collar and white-collar workers are likely to be completely obsolete in the next 25 years or so. The work of truck drivers and taxis, for example, may be completely eliminated due to automation of driving. Are we going to be ready to retrain ourselves for new skills and learn how to thrive? Will our kids be ready to meet the new challenges (rather than the current ones)? The Frog is fortunate in his optimism and his opportunism. As in his story, the window of opportunity might open only very briefly.

Historically, I think this frog story comes from book of Chuangtzu (Zhuangzi in the modern spelling), the 2nd main book of Daoism, which includes many stories that have influenced much cultural literature right up to the present time. (One example is the poem by Edgar Allen Poe, "A Dream Within a Dream" http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/52829)

An even more intruguing parallel is in the very famous Allegory of the Cave, by Plato in his book, "Republic" (I don't think there was any direct influence or knowlege of this by Plato).
Plato's allegory is of a people who know only a dark cave and the shadows on the cave walls that appear due to the sun (which they cannot see). The people think the shadows are the real objects, the true reality, but one member (the philosopher) successfully escapes to the outside. This world is blinding and confusing to him at first. But his eyes adjust gradually and he learns to comprehend the true shapes of things. Then he returns to the cave and tries to convince the other cave dwellers of what he has seen, but the people hold fast to the comfort of what they know, and they refuse to consider the new ideas. In fact they become hostile to the man, whom they believe must have been driven insane. Furthermore, they believe it is therefore too dangerous to try to venture out of the cave, and prefer to live in their ignorance.
As another contemporary The popular movies in the "Matrix" series were apparently influenced by the stories of both Chuang Tzu and Plato.

I think these stories all serve as a warning to us, not to become complacent or stuck in the habits and structures of the past. That happens naturally because we are asked to do a specific job, and we try to dedicate ourselves to this, for the sake of the organization. As individuals, as employees, as organizations, it is crucial to keep an open mind and keep trying new things, growing skills and experience. If you notice in your own work that you are basically only "re-arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic", it might be a good time to seek out change more aggressively.

JP

I read through the entire story  Sometimes it’s the comfort zone that everyone builds by ourselves that we have heavy resistance to break away from. Reading, learning and connecting with people and outside world help ourselves to realize the outside world so we don’t have to have the sparrow to do the pull to carry us over before we think of moving.
Move and tango on, I can learn new things and challenge myself for new breakthrough, it could only be better!!

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