A dove in flight spied an ant struggling in the creek below, near to drowning. In pity, she lowered a blade of grass into the water so that the ant might cling to it. "Friend, you have saved my life," the ant said gratefully, as he was led safely to shore.
Besides the creek stood a hunter, who raised his bow to take aim at the dove. Seeing his rescuer in danger, the tiny ant crawled up the hunter's boot and stung the hunter on the leg. With a cry of pain the hunter let his arrow fly off the mark, and the dove was free from danger.
One good deed deserves another.
This is one of those fables that I think is a little off the mark. It is true that one good deed deserves another. But that does not mean a good deed in return is mandatory. The way I look at it is in three ways...
- Let’s say a person walks you across the street and then, when walking back, he/she is about to get run over, wouldn't you try to save him? But what if that person doesn't help you cross the street, does that mean that you shouldn't help him/her?
- If you are helping someone, help them for the good feeling you get when you make someone else's life a little easier. Don't just help them so that you can use that to make that person do something for you.
- If you are helped by a person, should you constantly be on the lookout for that person and never leave his/her side? If that person who helped you deserves a good deed, must you help him/her with whatever obstacles comes in his/her way? Is it mandatory?
The first point I made, I think is completely silly, yet people still think like this. They refuse to help another person and their reason is that that person never did anything for them. I mean, "REALLY!" Be a good person and help them out. You don't need someone to be nice to you to be nice to them. Some people out there, not all of them, have to learn this.
The second point I made is a little similar to the first point, but still different. It's basically saying that you should help someone just to be nice and not because you want something to hold over that person's head. So you can’t say to that person, "You owe me, so you have to..." or "You have to because I did this for you..." That is just wrong.
And the third thing is asking, "Are we obligated to help someone if they help us?" Is it a mandatory thing or just something that people do out of the kindness of their hearts? I think it should not be mandatory and more importantly, the people who help other people should not think that it is mandatory. If the opportunity arises, then yes, that person you helped will probably help you, but if they don't, it is not their fault, either. They don't have to help you just because you helped them.
I know you must be asking, "Wait, is Wooyoung really talking about what is wrong about Aesop's Fables? I thought that he was supposed to talk about the good things about fables." Well, to answer that, I just think that Aesop was a tiny bit off base here. Aesop isn't really perfect. His moral, one good deed deserves another, makes sense in some circumstances, but I think not all the time. He lived over 300 years ago, so who knows, maybe in his time, it was mandatory. We'll never know.