Sunday, May 19, 2013
This last week I awoke to a story about a charter school in Utah. I don't know a lot about such schools but I voted for it in the state I live in. Believing that more diverse education is a good thing.This school in Utah wants to teach about business using the fable Ant and the Grasshopper. I knew the fable well from a book I own. I was shocked. the version I have is not a fable of business ethics but on how not treat your neighbor. The first stanza of the fable leads one to believe that singing (arts) lead to hunger and hurt. The second stanza of the fable is the grasshopper who is humble and knows the value of a vow. He is also honest and vulnerable. A good question for the eager to learn students might be:what does it mean to be a neighbor? The third stanza of the fable we meet the ant. There is no mincing of words she hears the grasshopper and repeats his tale back to him. He sang for his supper and will now reap that benefit by starving. An ant does not lend and is not sympathetic/empathetic, but is shaming. Fourth Stanza. there is a sense of relief from the ant that the grasshopper is done in by his own gift, his volition. Winter is a dead season and now he will pay. On might want to read the story Frederick by Leo Lionni to see the gift of the artist in a fable, especially in winter. there is also the story of the Good Samaritan. And there is a parable that Jesus tells about the kingdom of heaven, that in his brilliance is the opposite! what children need are stories, it sustains and moves us forward. The Ant and the Grasshopper is a cautionary fable not a business model. Beware what one might unleash in the wrong arena.