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Tale of Five Friends and Five Enemies

In Thế giới, Văn Chương on 2009/08/11 at 07:00

One day while walking with an Indian friend, Malaquìas, he told me the story of the five friends and the five enemies.
The first enemy of human beings is fear. If you live in fear, you will live like a mouse in a dark corner and never see the light. Fear will become your enemy and you never will grow up. But, if you are not afraid of the fear you will have, then you can live in light, and fear becomes your friend.
If fear is your friend, then you are able to look around you with clarity. But if you think that you can see all things clearly, then you are really blind, and clarity becomes your enemy. If, however, you strive to see clearly, then clarity becomes your friend.
If fear is your friend and you can see clearly, then you will have power. But if you keep power to yourself, you will become weaker and weaker. If, however, you share the power, you will become strong and power will be your friend.
If fear is your friend, you see clearly, and you share power, then you will be wise. But if you think you have all the wisdom, then in reality you are ignorant, and wisdom will be your enemy. If, however, you admit that you do not know everything, answers will come to you and wisdom will be your friend.
If fear is your friend, you see clearly, and you share power, and you have wisdom, then you will meet old age. But if you sit, doing nothing and denying your history, then old age will be your enemy. If, however, you meet old age with grace, having met fear, seeing with clarity, sharing power, and making wisdom your friend, then you will live forever.

(Mexican popular folklore as told by Arturo Ornelas, cited in Smith, Willms & Johnson (1997). Nurtured by Knowledge: Learning to Do Participatory Action-Research, New York & Ottawa, Canada: The Apex Press & International Development Research Centre.)

Vietnamese version

 

 

 

Other parables:

The Parable of the Downstreamers
Judgment: A Laozi (Lao Tzu) Parable

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