Have you heard of the brave little tailor? You probably have. He’s that dude who struck down seven flies in one blow and somehow turned that (along with luck and quick thinking) into a gig as a king.
But he’s a SUCCESSFUL asshole. You know why? It’s because he worked smart instead of working hard, and because he just went with the flow. Challenged by a giant? Play along! Get offered a position in the king’s army? Sure, why not? Asked to kill TWO giants, catch a unicorn, and trap a rabid boar so you’ll be out of everyone’s way? Pit those two giants against each other, get the unicorn’s horn stuck into a tree, trick the boar into entering a chapel it can’t get out of, and marry the princess. Wife try to get rid of you? Put the fear of you into the goons she hired.
That’s some major chutzpah right there. It’s something that most people like me need.
See, I’m smart. I’m sure I’m as smart as the brave little tailor. But I’m not as brave as he is.
I, and a lot of people like me, let our own brains get the better of us. We worry so much about the consequences that we often end up not doing anything. Before we know it, opportunities pass us by. If I had been braver, I probably would have published a book by now, or would have taken a job that would get me to Germany. Instead, I find myself thinking of consequences not just to myself, but my family. If the brave little tailor had stopped to worry about his tailoring business when he decided to show to the world how awesome he was at killing flies, he probably would STILL be patching up pants by the end of the story.
The bravery of that little tailor comes from being smart enough to know his own strengths while completely disregarding the idea of limitations. He recognizes opportunities and automatically uses them to his own advantage. I am pathetically jealous of that ability.
Maybe I should try to see the world through this guy’s eyes. If I squint and tilt my head, a hurdle could look like a door.
Are you as brave as that little tailor? Because I’m not.
Not yet, in any case.