"People first paid honour to a spot and afterwards gained glory for it. Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her."
 
GK Chesterton
The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs

What good is gained by telling our children of the old fables and tales if we ourselves abandon such simple truths? Not simple as in being stupid or narrow in their application, but rather simple as in a universal constant like gravity, or the sun. A thing that is so profound and far reaching and yet, straightforward. Why do we outgrow these stories? Why are we comfortable with exchanging the simple truths of doing a job right, managing resources properly, being truthful, and loving your neighbor all for short term profit at the expense of others and our environment? 

Shortsightedness courts destruction

As fables go, The Three Little Pigs is a rather young story. It's singular aim is to remind us that lasting success requires a commitment to executing work properly. The beginning of the story has a mother pig sending her three little pigs out into the world. Setting out, the three pigs each begin to construct houses for themselves out of straw, stick, and brick.

Hastily thrown together, both the stick and straw houses allow the first two brothers to quickly adopt a life of leisure. For the two of them, work is simply a means to personal relaxation. Standing in contrast to his brothers, the third little pig elects to build his house out of brick. Deliberately, he begins a longer, more intensive process of construction. This third little pig recognizes the value of working diligently and properly. For him, work is a duty; a commission to cultivate the world around him. It is a means to resist disaster.

Then comes the time when all of the three pigs' houses are built. Their respective works are done and now the question becomes "What was so pressing about saving a bit of time and money before?" All three pigs are living in their houses and they are happy, but the prowling wolf enters the scene and we quickly find out what each house is worth. How enduring is the prosperity of the first two pigs? 

Let us consider the value of dedicating our efforts to building properly, because the wolf will come in one form or another, leaving a trail of wrecked shortsighted houses in his wake. 

 
illustration by Lily Jones / watercolor / 2017   instagram    rivulet paper shop

illustration by Lily Jones / watercolor / 2017

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