I put on a mismatched pair of socks this morning. As penance, I just penned this piece.
“Know yourself.” “Be yourself.” “To thine own self be true. “ Scholars still can’t agree on who might have said it first. There are at least a dozen ancient Greeks nominated for the honor. Or maybe it was the Oracle of Delphi. Who is foolish enough to argue with an Oracle?
In modern times, Oscar Wilde takes the prize in my opinion with this quip.
“Be Yourself. Everyone Else is taken.” That boils it down to a simple matter of mathematics.
I guess, Yankel the Fool didn’t get the memo.
One day he set out walking to a distant village to visit his favorite cousin. It was a two day walk, so at the end of the first day he stopped at an Inn.
The Innkeeper welcomed him but told him that she only had one room available. He would have to share it with a Priest who was also traveling to that village.
“ Fine,” said Yankel. Wake me before the sun comes up. I want to get an early start.”
“I’m really tired,“ said the Priest. “Let me sleep until I wake on my own.”
Early the next morning, the Innkeeper did as she was asked. She roused Yankel . In the dark, he hastily threw on his clothes, stumbled out the door, and headed down the road.
When the sun came up, Yankel looked at himself…dressed not in his worn old coat but in the Priest’s robes.
“ Now I’m going to have to go all the way back to the Inn,” he grumbled in disgust. “That fool of a woman woke up the Priest instead of me!”
(Based on a tale from Moldavia)
(Image by Pieter Jansz)