The Travelers Jacket

One day the Sun and the Wind were quarreling about who was stronger. The Sun saw a traveler approaching.

“Let us see who can make this man’s jacket come off of him. Surely that one is the strongest,” said the Sun thus challenging the Wind to a duel.

The Wind went first. He blew hard. The clouds billowed about. He blew harder and the leaves swirled in angry response about the man’s legs. The Wind continued to blow, but the man clenched his jacket ever closer to his body even grabbing at the hood to hold it securely in place. The Wind could do no else but admit defeat.

“It is an impossible duel, Sun. How could you possibly make this man’s jacket come off of him?” said the Wind in a hollow defeated voice.

“We shall see,” said the Sun with a gleam in his eyes and a knowing grin on his face.

With the Wind out of the way it was the Sun’s turn. First the sun began to gently warm the land with his soft rays. The man let his hood slip off and pulled the zipper loose. The Sun beat down on the earth ever increasing the heat. Soon the man had peeled the jacket from his perspiring limbs and was dragging it along beside him as he wiped the beads of sweat from his brow.

The moral of the story is gentle persuasion in kindness is often much more effective than brute force in anger.

The Travelers Jacket

This ancient story gives us pause to consider the ways in which we seek to accomplish a goal. It makes us think about what methods we choose to employ whereby influencing, motivating or even inspiring other people to action. We could also have a lively discussion as to the purposes and motives which spurred such a contest between the Sun and the Wind.

Do with it what you will.

A little chat at lunch brought up an interesting postulation and reminded me of this story. The wind has been so strong today. So the conversation explored the livelihood of the wind. Is the wind alive? My children wanted ‘the truth’. I told them that this was not a time for conclusions, rather an opportunity to exchange ideas.

What do you think? Here are some links to lengthy definitions from Websters in case you need a starting point: alive and life.

Wind can grow from a light breeze to blustery. Think about the meaning of the term ‘full blown’. Growth is evidence of life.

Wind can die. ‘Oh, we can’t fly the kites any more because the wind has died down.’ There are times when there is only stillness before the wind is born. Wind seems to have a life span.

Wind can will it’s way. The debilitating dust storms of the desert attest to this. The blinding torrents whipped about by the force of the wind creating devastation in it’s wake might lend us to believe this is true. Look at the movement of a tornado and you might think that it is alive.

Wind speaks. It is howling at my window right now. The song it sings through the hollow reeds by a lake mellows hearers. Whispering at frozen ears in the heights of mountain tops one is inclined to listen.

If something grows, speaks, wills it’s way and eventually dies it sounds to me as though it possesses life. Just some thoughts this afternoon as the trees bow to magnificence and the dust dances in homage.



4 thoughts on “The Travelers Jacket

  1. Hi @ngie, just catching up after a busy couple of weeks :), and what a great post! I love the story at the beginning!

    Just picking up on your point about influence and motivation, it’s true that ‘gentle persuasion in kindness’ is better at motivating me. That, and things like being inspired and being encouraged and being given freedom :)

    Lots to talk about with this post :)

  2. I have had much blustering wind come my way when, in fact, a gentle warm ray of sunshine might have been more helpful.

    I have a hard time understanding bluster.

    Is the wind alive? It doesn’t eat, does it?

  3. Hi Angie,
    Me too, I am slowly catching up after a long internet absence, several travels and illness.
    From an African viewpoint – I would not call the heat of the sun ‘gentle persuasion’ ;-)

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