GREED and PRIDE - Downfall of Man
"A greedy pot is never satisfied and a proud person is seeking his downfall" - Tchelber
The story of the tortoise and the hare is a popular folktale many of us heard as children.
The tortoise is a slow animal while the hare is fast. One day, (folktale always has sceneries that are not possible but happen), a hare and tortoise were asked to run a race.
Whatever the reason for the race was is unknown but one of the slowest and fastest animals were placed against each other in the race of their lives.
The odds were in the favor of the hare. He was fast. How would a tortoise defeat him? Pride set in. He already had all it takes to win but hare decided to nap at the last lap. The folktale doesn’t tell us how long the hare slept.
All we know is that the hare slept for so long, the tortoise overtook him and finished the race.
Now, the hare woke up from his slumber and remembered he had a race to complete. On getting to the finish line, the tortoise won.
Imagine how this 'fastest' animal felt when he discovered that a 'slower' animal won it.
What is the lesson? Pride clouds good judgement and leads to a fall.
I know you might begin to wonder why the title says downfall of man and the story is about a hare.
Stories are meaningful fiction that connects to human reality. You can't tell a story to a dog (as intelligent as it is) but stories are for us.
Poster for the Anikulapo movie was released a few days ago.
I recently watched a movie on Netflix called Anikulapo. I know there is a lot to unpack from this masterpiece (when I say a lot of lessons, I mean, a lot) but the one I was keen on is the story of the protagonist Saro.
Saro was a simple aso-ofin (a traditional Yoruba attire) weaver. He wanted to make an honest living in a new environment.
He later met an older woman, who became his benefactor and his lover.
Saro came from a very far land without enough money to start a business but he had it in mind he would do so because Saro had pride (in a good way). He was sure about his abilities and skills, and he knew that his unforeseen future will be great.
Saro's lover proved to be a mother and a helper to his future (I get she is older and she also had her flaws but she helped him a lot though). She got him a house, and a place to start his business, and she gave him a big contract! (She did everything for him you know)
Saro's pride started getting bigger than his shoulders. He probably felt that he deserved everything she did for him. (Even if he did, she was doing enough for him already)
Saro went to his big contract (the King’s palace) and instead of doing business and going to his house, he was lusting over the King’s younger wife (Before someone says she reciprocated, I don’t care like that, sorry).
Saro had a Queen willing to give herself off for him, her throne and everything. And this led to his 'death'. (If you want to know more about how he died, go and stream the movie on Netflix)
Now, let’s move to the event that made him Anikulapo.
So there is this bird of Akala (I really don’t know about Yoruba religious cultures) but according to the movie, the bird has a gourd filled with sand which it uses to bring people back to life if they died untimely. (Sandman and Moonknight vibe).
Arolake, the queen that loves Saro, was with him (now dead) when Akala's bird came. She pursued the bird after it resurrected Saro and got the gourd.
Saro didn't know about this. He and Arolake got to a new village and Arolake gave him the gourd to put to the test.
I really don't need to go into details about how they came about the test but the main thing is that Saro became a resurrector. He became rich. The villagers gave him enough wealth and slowly, his pride got hold of him for the second time.
Saro became greedy. He wasn't satisfied anymore. (The same greed that made him desire the King's wife made him desire more wives for himself now he was with the King's wife)
Remember, the story of the hare.. 'pride clouds good judgement'.
Saro stopped thinking and allowed greed and pride to control him.
He forgot that Arolake was the reason why he had much wealth. His mind was damned. His other wives didn’t respect Arolake and he was at fault. If he had treated her with the honour she deserved for bringing him wealth, maybe he wouldn’t have met death for the second time.
Saro’s second death was poetic. He lusted for the King’s younger daughter. He had three wives but he wanted more. He was greedy. He wanted to take away the freedom of a young royal princess and this led to his death.
Greed and Pride are two key elements of Man's downfall. Having pride is not bad but the moment you allow it to take over your thinking, it would lead you to the ground.
Greed is a fruit of letting pride take over your mind. You start to think you deserve everything even what doesn't belong to you.
A good way to avoid these downfall elements is humility. Whatever you have, whatever you own, whatever you will have, and whatever you will own, always remain humble in all things.