Egotistical Independence


I hope you all are faring well. It is pleasure being able to share with you all yet another blog this week. Following in the mood from last week, I am sharing a blog on a subject matter I have spoken on previously. The difference in today’s blog is that I am addressing the issue of Independence from a different perspective. Feel free to read my previous write up in the link above.

The concept of wanting to act as the “Lord of all that we survey” is a deep-rooted perverted aspect of our true self. I go into depth in my article on independence above. Thus today I won’t be talking much from that perspective, rather I’ll be looking at it from the viewpoint of being able to tap into an unlimited reservoir of help. There is an adage that says “obedience is better than sacrifice”. Africans have something similar; “he who requests for directions before undertaking a journey doesn’t get lost.” Bottom line is those who have a guide have a higher chance of making better progress. Everyone wants to be a “boss”, no one wants to be told what to do, how to do, when to do anything. However, when there is a consequence for our minute independence, many people cower at the punches life deals to them.

Independence is sweet so long we are equally responsible for the downside. Below is a short story about the importance of having a guide who helps us utilize our independence.

Once upon a time, a cow went out to graze in the jungle. Suddenly, she noticed a tiger racing towards her. She turned and fled, fearing that at any moment the tiger would sink his claws into her. The cow desperately looked for someplace to escape and at last, saw a shallow pond. Barely evading the tiger’s reach, she jumped into the pond, and in the heat of the chase, the tiger blindly leaped after her.

To the surprise of them both, the pond was extremely shallow yet filled with deep recesses of mud. After toppling over each other, the cow and the tiger found themselves a short distance apart, stuck in the mud up to their necks. Both had their heads above water but were unable to free themselves no matter how much they writhed.

The tiger repeatedly snarled at the cow and roared, “I am going to enjoy the sound of crunching your bones between my teeth!”

He thrashed about in fury but soon became fretful as he found no prospect of escape. The cow thoughtfully laughed as the tiger struggled to free himself and asked him, “Do you have a master?”
The tiger disdainfully replied, “I am the king of the jungle. Why do you ask me if I have a master? I myself am the master!”
The cow said, “You may be the king of the jungle, but here all your power has failed to save your life.”
“And what about you?” Retorted the tiger. “You are going to die here in this mud too!”’

The cow smiled mildly and said, “No, I am not.”
“If even I, the king of the jungle cannot free myself from this mud”, snapped the tiger, “Then how can you, an ordinary cow?”
The cow gently replied, “I cannot free myself from this mud, but my master can. When the sun sets and he finds me absent at home, he will come looking for me. Once he finds me, he will raise me up and escort me home sweet home.”

The tiger fell silent and coldly glared at the cow. Soon enough, at sunset and the cow’s master arrived. He immediately recognized the plight she was in and lifted her to safety. As they walked home, the cow and the master both felt renewed gratitude for one another and pitied the tiger. They both would have been happy to save if only the tiger had allowed them.

The cow represents a surrendered heart, the tiger represents an egoistic mind, and the master represents GOD. The mud represents the world, and the chase represents the struggle for existence therein.

Another interesting angle to this is that our egotistical mind which is the tiger devouring our real happiness is the very one we try to save. Instead of letting our hearts surrender to a guide when we see and acknowledge one, we rather try to rationalize their position using our egotistical mind. In the end, we do not save the heart (the cow), and the Tiger (our mind) won’t allow itself to be saved.
Its good to be independent and not rely on anyone. But don’t take it to an extreme, you always need a partner/coach/mentor who will be always on the lookout for you.
Having them does not mean you are weak, it’s just that you can be stronger with their help. Make sure to share this story with your partner/coach/mentor/children and express your gratitude to God and them.

Show me a great Man/Leader and I’ll show you someone who was a great disciple or follower. Society has made submission or inquiry to a learning process something to be ashamed of. People are encouraged to “challenge” their preceptors because “times are changing”. It is no doubt that there has been a vast leap in many areas of life today, nevertheless, the experience that comes from living through these changes and other experiences in different fields are things we cannot take for granted.

I hope this blog sheds some light on this subject matter. Till next week; read, share and follow for more.


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