What is Success? The Jackal and the Dog, A Tale of Freedom vs Security
Freedom Isn't Always a Success
A starving Jackal wandered through the desert in search of food and water. His face was gaunt and his ribs were showing, but he pressed on until he came across a tribe of Bedouins. He cautiously approached a dog chained on the outskirts of the encampment, and the dog barked and growled at him savagely.
‘Why are you angry cousin?’ the jackal asked.
‘I’m only searching for food.’
The Dog, feeling a bit foolish, stopped barking.
‘Don’t be offended cousin, it’s my job. If you need food, come work with me – I have all the food I can eat, bones to chew, and water to drink! All I have to do is bark at anyone who comes near the tents.’
The Jackal liked the sound of good food and water, and he agreed to join him as a guard dog. When a traveler passed by he barked and snarled viciously, and continued this behavior against anything that came near the camp; he even barked at the birds that flew by, and the Dog commended him for his vigilance.
Security and Success Through Employment?
When the Master came and saw what the Jackal was doing, he brought out two bowls, one of food, and the other of water. The Jackal was amazed.
‘You were right cousin!’ he exclaimed.
‘The work is easy, and the food is good.’
The next day the Dog and the Jackal continued their work, happily barking at everything near them. That evening, the Master came out with new food and water, and gave the Jackal a collar made of leather.
‘My Master likes you’ said the Dog, ‘now you can stay here forever!’
The Jackal frowned at the thought, thinking of his previous life - wandering free in the desert he could chase lizards, swim in the oasis lakes, and enjoy something new every day. He remembered his family, who he visited whenever he pleased even though they lived far away.
Freedom vs Security
Security vs Freedom
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master."
"Only the insecure strive for security."
Well, so much for balanced and objective...
The Jackal turned to the Dog.
‘Tell me friend, where is the lake you swim in?’
‘I can’t swim with a chain around my neck!’
‘Does it make it hard to travel?’
‘Makes it quite impossible actually.’
‘Cousin,’ the Jackal stepped forward, eying the dog sympathetically,
‘How is your family these days?’
‘I really couldn’t tell you. If I’m not here all day, someone may get in and steal, then I’ll lose my job!’
The Dog smiled knowingly.
‘Jackal, you have to make sacrifices if you want security in life. Long hours and the limitations of this chain are a small price to pay – you tasted the food didn’t you? Are you ever thirsty? And this bone; my Master will bring you one soon, along with your chain. This chain is a symbol of security Jackal, I’ll eat and drink every day of my life and I’m happy. I’m proud of this chain, and you will be too!’
The Jackal shook his head.
‘Dog, I respect your work, but I can’t stay here anymore. My work is different is all; I hunt in the desert where the food is scarce, some days I eat, and some I don’t. But I can travel where I please, when I please, with no chain to hold me down, I swim in the lake without worry of sinking, and I spend time with my family and friends because I can. No, I’ll leave you to your job, but thank you anyway!’
And so they parted friends.
Who Was a Success, the Dog or the Jackal?
And that is how a dog is a dog, and a jackal a jackal. They both lived full and happy lives; the dog secure, and the jackal free.
Between the two, who was right?
And more importantly, can you ever have both?
What do you value more, freedom or security?
Freedom or Security
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
"The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave."
-Alexis de Tocqueville
"I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery."
-Jean Jaques Rousseau
It's kind of hard to find quotes that favor security - for those who value security more, I respect your opinion and would love to hear your thoughts!