(Can you hear that song running through your head?)I mentioned the story of The Little Red Hen recently to someone and was surprised that they didn’t seem to have heard of it (this is what happens when you decide to diversify your culture – the underpinning values of your society unravel because the common touch-points that help preserve those values are disappeared from the next generation’s education.)
For those of you who also don’t know it, here’s my fast summary: The Little Red Hen (LRH) finds a grain of wheat, and asks for help from various farmyard neighbors at each stage (planting, harvesting, threshing, milling, baking) as she tries to create a loaf of bread, and at each stage NO ONE is willing to pitch in and help. Finally, the LRH shows off the fruits of her labor (a loaf of bread) and asks who will help eat the bread, and all who refused to help before now volunteer to eat with her. But they’re disappointed when LRH declares that since NO ONE helped her, NO ONE will get to eat other than the LRH’s chicks.
If you notice, this story has a moral – if you aren’t willing to work or contribute to an endeavor, you don’t deserve a reward from that endeavor. Additionally – those who are willing to work deserve to enjoy the fruit of their labor. This is a VERY capitalist moral – perhaps that’s part of the reason it’s disappearing from our cultural literacy.
We live in a society that seems to be increasingly filled with people who think that work is a bad thing, and that NO ONE should be FORCED to labor for anything. These people think they are ENTITLED to any number of things that are PROGRESSIVEly labeled as a right (food, healthcare, cell phones, transportation, a “living wage”,…)
Here’s an excellent blog posting by Amanda Green – http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/02/24/you-are-not-entitled-a-guest-post-by-amanda-green/ (thank you, Sarah Hoyt for this post appearing on your site.)
Amanda’s post is in relation to the publishing industry and discusses the feeling of entitlement expressed by newbie amateurs trying to break into the stratosphere, but it APPLIES TO EVERYTHING else in the land of those who work and the people who want what they have without having to.
I wouldn’t be surprised if The Little Red Hen were to resurface, only in a politically correct form:
The LRH decides because she has nothing better to do that she will go about creating a loaf of bread. She asks the other animals to help, but they are all busy freeing themselves from the jail of labor (so they can be artists?), and refuse. The fateful day comes when the bread comes out of the oven, and the EVIL LRH refuses to share what all the animals have a God given right to. This is unthinkable. Did the LRH make the sunlight? The water? The planet earth that the wheat grows on? No of course not – the LRH DIDN’T BUILD THAT, and yet she thinks she has authority to decide who she will share with. The grumbling animals appeal to the Farmer, who chastises the LRH, confiscates the bread, takes away her chicks so they can be taught to be less selfish, and to make sure that no one goes hungry, buries the hatchet by having the LRH over for dinner. (The self-satisfied complainers probably don’t notice that the LRH has disappeared, and won’t care until they receive their turn at the Farmer’s table.)
All creatures have needs, and drives to support those needs, but they can be retrained and redirected. It used to be that hard work was rewarded – now it seems that we are attempting to devalue that hard work by taking from those who produce and giving to those who refuse to participate. Eventually, the producers will realize how foolish they are being, and that it’s easier to just climb aboard the gravy train with everyone else.
But if the producers do this – if there is no advantage to producing – who will produce? With the incentive to work removed, the system either collapses, or changes into one where everyone is a slave, forced to work for the distant, mysterious “all.”
Think people – where is the magic box out of which all the food, ipads, healthcare flow? There is no money tree. What is taken away from others now for your benefit can (and will) be taken away from you and your children.
Don’t take what isn’t yours. If you want to get ahead, stop complaining about what other people have -get on out there and WORK for it.
"In a Flash", my first Jimmy Delaney story, will be FREE on Smashwords for ONE MORE WEEK – here’s the smashwords link:
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William Mangieri’s writing can be found in many places, including:
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