November 06, 2010

Mr. Keuner and the Flood

Mr. Keuner went through a valley, when he suddenly noticed that his feet were in water. He realised that the valley was actually an estuary, and that the flood tide was coming. He stopped immediately and looked around for a boat, and so long as he hoped for a boat he stood still. But when no boat came in sight, he gave up this hope and hoped instead that the water would like not to rise any more. Once the water was up to his chin, he also gave up this hope and swam. He had realised that he was himself a boat (Bertolt Brecht, Herr Keuner und die Flut).

With apologies for the undoubted looseness of my translation, I nevertheless offer this little morsel as a weekend reminder to be active and self-reliant. If we stand and wait for what we desire, the chances are we shall fail. We must assert ourselves and make the most of our resources, for the helping hand we desire is no farther away than the end of our own arm.

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