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Meritocracy II – The Tortoise and the Hare

A couple of years ago, when Jie Jie was preparing for her ‘O’ Level, the Mule seeing how stressed she was, decided to share some of his misconceived wisdom.

“Life is like running a marathon, and not a 100m sprint. When you see many dashing ahead of you, don’t despair, they might not have the stamina to complete the race. The smart ones are usually lazier too.”

Going on, the Mule talked about the story of the Tortoise and the Hare where the Tortoise eventually succeed through perseverance, and the Hare, which is more talented, lost the race because of its laziness. It was a happy ending, except the Mule added that in reality, if you meet a Hare, and if it keeps its pace, and if you are the Tortoise, you will never beat the Hare in the race, implying that sometimes life is unfair– even if you worked double hard, you couldn’t beat the genius who just need to work half as hard. So don’t feel despair if you didn’t get what you want (in this case, her ideal Junior College), it’s part of life.

“Unfair!” She screamed.

It was an unfair race to begin with. The Tortoise should challenge the Hare to a swimming contest instead. Unfortunately, the race organizer is single dimensioned, and measures success as winning the road run only, if it were a biathlon, the Tortoise would have won hands down, because the Hare… can’t swim.


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