“Beware less you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”
When we hear the word beware what first probably comes to mind is that it serves as a warning to be cautious and alert to certain dangers in the world around us. I look at it from that perspective but more so to be mindful each and every day as well as being in the moment which I struggle with because I have the tendency to always look to the future which is that shadow that Aesop refers to in today’s quote.
As I’m sure that most of you are familiar with Aseop in case you aren’t his claim to fame was as a Greek fabulist and storyteller know for his many fables entitled Aesop’s Fables. Some of the more famous fables were Town Mouse and Country Mouse and The Tortoise and the Haire. Today’s quote came directly from the fable The Dog and His Shadow. Essentially this fable is about a dog who found a piece of meat outside and took it to bring it home and as he walked across a plank that went over a brook, he looked down and saw that another dog had a piece of meat too. Little did they know that this was their reflection in the water. Instead of realizing this and moving on, he decided to tried to get that piece of meat too and snapped at the water. Unfortunately, they lost the real piece in their mouth as it fell into the brook and got swept away. Now they had nothing. Hence the last sentence of the fable was “Beware less you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”
I believe the lesson learned from all of this is to be mindful of what you have in that moment and focus on what is right in front of you, something that is real, while at the same time not trying to grasp at things that may not really be there. The mind has the tendency to trick us and if we are not careful we will lose what we actually truly have. When we need to look at things intelligently and be aware of what we may be giving up, we can make the best decision of which path to choose. Being more self aware leads us to gaining a more accurate perception of oneself. Make sure you take the time to do this and realize of what is really in front of you before you lose that too and are left with nothing.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards improving your self awareness?