You are not a mouse!

I remember a fable that tells of a mouse made miserable by its fear of cats. A kindly magician changed the mouse into a cat. It then became fearful of dogs. The magician agreed to turn the cat into a dog. But as a dog it became agitated about tigers. So the magician converted it into a tiger. However, it then became panicky about hunters. At this point the magician said, "You have only the heart of a mouse. I cannot help you." He then turned the tiger back into a mouse.

We may smile at this fable, but aren't we sometimes cautious, timid, fearful in our approach to problems, because we are convinced something "out there" will get us? We may be anxious about possible dismissal from a job; apprehensive about loss of possessions because of flood, fire, or theft; intimidated at the possibility of unfair treatment by a teacher, policeman, or relative. In short, like the mouse, we are terrified of being victimized.

September 30, 1985

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