Have you heard of the “Belling the Cat Fable?” I read it to my 18-month-old son just this morning. And just like the other stories we have read or seen, this one has a beautiful lesson worth sharing.
Belling the Cat Fable
Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat.
Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case.
“You will all agree,” said he, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.”
This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said:
“That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?”
The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said:
“It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”
The Friend who does not listen
I have a dear friend who keeps coming to me for advice. Yes, she would call or text to ask what she needs to do. She is in deep trouble. It frustrated me, though, that she keeps asking for solution to her problem and yet it seems she doesn’t listen to you. I could feel her pain and her desire to be out of the situation. And yet, she does nothing.
Moral of the story”Belling the Cat” and the Friend who does not listen
Problems need solution. The solution though should be realistic. The young mouse had such promising answer to their everyday worry about the cat. His proposal seems promising as well. But then, it was not sensible. No one from their tribe would dare come near the cat.
The friend who does not listen has become a problem because he is weighing me down. And that could lead to irritation and animosity, which definitely is not healthy for our friendship.
I got to realize that we have our own issues and concerns to deal with. Most of the time, crying to our friend’s shoulder is the easiest way to unload ourselves from the weight of our day-to-day troubles. And as a caring friend, he tends to give advice – solicited or otherwise. But we need to remember that it is only us who knows the impact of own pain. And because we know, we are able to decide how and when to give remedy. Sometimes, it takes us days, weeks or even months to act, but we will surely act. We just need to perhaps enjoy the pain then it would be certainly our conscious self who will finally got the hang of it. We will then act to solve our own problem.
Take it from Aesop. Let’s apply a reality check to schemes for Belling the Cat. Do not get frustrated and effected when friends seemed not to listen to our advice. We cannot impose solutions to them. They need to realize within themselves the issue and once everything is clear, they could solve their own troubles. The best way we could do is lend an ear or perhaps a shoulder to lean on.
Now I’m curious who this friend is! lol. Jk! I read about this back when I was in Elementary pa, it’s been a long time. Naaalala ko sya minsan, and I’m happy naremind ako uli. 🙂 When I was young, naasar ako kasi di talaga nila nakabit ng bell! lol. Gusto ko na silang tulungan, kung pwede lang. haha.
It was a first time to read about the Belling Cat Fable and loved it instantly. Hahaha, oo parang mapaka helpless nila, pero I read one fable din with the title Pied Piper and ang mga pusa naman ang takot sa mga daga. hahaha
I’ve experienced friends like this. It’s really frustrating when they don’t listen. But I’m not really one to give unsolicited advise. I wait for them to ask. If they don’t listen to what I say then I just let them be. I am way too busy with my own life to dwell on others. Not that I don’t want to help them but I’ve learned a long time ago that I have to have boundaries.
I agree. We should also learn when and how to say no should they run to for advice.
I suddenly remembered a very close friend of mine who’s going through a really rough road right now. She got separated with her partner of 6 years, had to raise his son alone – in a place far away from everyone. I can only feel for her pain for I am a person who can empathize with the people around me – especially to those who are very close to my heart. Though I am giving her advice and I am offering words of encouragements which she acknowledges naman, I can feel na she’s still feeling at her lowest. And I can’t blame her for that. Kasi I’ve been in a situation na rin wherein I feel that every advice I receive from my dear friends seems like always easier said than done. And from that experience, I understand where she’s coming from. Sometimes, it’s more important to know that at least someone’s listening. It gives comfort to the wary ones. 🙂