From the Dragon’s Den
Our story this week was the fable of the lion and the mouse. Preparation for this entailed finding a piece of mesh to use as a trap for the poor long-suffering, soft-toy lion (which officially belongs to my grand-daughter). When all else failed, time was spent in knotting together bits of string to construct netting strong enough to hold this extremely, wild animal. Mouse offered no problem, being constructed out of a little piece of brown felt stuffed with cotton wool.
(This type of activity is good to keep those enjoying retirement busy.)
Lion puppets constructed from bright orange, brown and yellow paper caught the eye of our little people and involved them either at the simple level of a purely sticking activity, or being more advanced as a mane was constructed out of strands of brown, yellow and fawn wool.
When I was a little girl I loved this story. It thrilled me to imagine the tiny creature being brave enough to tackle the difficulties of the big, strong lion. As I grew older I came to understand that both creatures acquired respect for one another.
In the environs where I was brought up, one was taught that respect must be shown to one’s elders, usually meaning those who were grander, bigger or older. The message was that those in charge must be respectfully obeyed, which resulted in my case of a certain fear and awe of those apparently bigger and mightier.
As with many people I perhaps became a little disillusioned during my teenage years as I realised that being older, bigger and/or being the boss didn’t necessarily mean being better, kinder, more able or more worthy.
It later became apparent to me that respect needs to be earned – the respect of self for self, self for others and the respect of others for self.
And so it is – not one of us gains the respect of others by dint of who or what we are – but by showing those around that we are worthy of respect through our actions and manner.