Fables sometimes contain morals suitable or applicable to real life. In these restless and shaky times, one often tries to make sense of what is happening by turning to reading as often as one can. It may serve as a tonic to find peace within oneself or it may allow him to stumble on words of wisdom or stories containing morals.

Here is one story from the Aesop’s Fables.


An Ass, being driven along a high road, suddenly started off and bolted to the brink of a deep precipice. While he was in the act of throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the tail, endeavouring to pull him back. When the Ass persisted in his effort, the man let him go and said, “Conquer, but conquer to your cost.”

Now imagine the “Ass” in the human form as a leader of an organisation or a country and also imagine the “Driver” as the staff of an organisation or the electorate of a country.

The staff of a company will be on edge when they know very well how recklessly the leader of their organisation steers their company through difficult business periods. As their livelihood is dependent on their jobs in the company, they are naturally anxious to see the company “float” in a shrinking business environment.

The same applies to the electorate of a country. As the greater good of a nation is dependent on its leadership, the electorate of that nation is naturally anxious to see the country “float” in economically-troubled times ahead. The anxiety expressed by the members who make up the electorate is not misplaced. Their fears are real and substantiated when they see the leader of their country lead it in a reckless and carefree abandon. It leaves the electorate and the leader on the edge of a precipice.

The citizens of that country are not in a position to hold the leader “by his tail” and demand him to turn back on the road of governing sensibly as his executive powers make him invincible. As such, the citizens can only let go and say this to the leader, “Conquer, but conquer to your cost.”

Dear reader, do you understand the moral of my story?