By IVY JACOBS
Just Ask Me
Friday, December 29, was my 59th birthday.
As much as I am somewhat shocked at my age, I can not deny how much the world has changed in my time.
While having lunch with my husband, my concentration on our conversation was interfered with eavesdropping, which I sheepishly admit happens sometimes when a word or phrase captures my attention.
A couple of tables away, two people were chatting about “Sour Grapes.” I have not heard that phrase since my grandmother Iva died some 40 years ago.
Iva told me about the term and explained it might have origins in an old fable, “The Fox and the Grapes,” by a slave in ancient Greece who was an oral storyteller known as Aesop, somewhere between 600 and 550 BCE.
The stories were passed down through generations and are probably among the first published books.
I loved reading fables and fairy tales as a child.
I never knew the impact of truth and absurdities they would have in my adult life.
One of my favorites was “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse,” I loved that book.
Iva liked “The Fox and the Grapes,” and I never understood until now.
If you are not familiar, the story goes something like this:
One day, a fox saw a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine in the branches of a tree. The grapes looked ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered.
The Fox tries to get the grapes, jumping repeatedly, but in vain until he collapses, tired from his labor.
He stares at the grapes until his frustration turns into disgust.
The Fox decides the unattainable grapes must be bad and says,
“Here I am wearing myself out for what? A bunch of sour grapes that are not worth my time.”
The moral of the story: Many bitter people pretend to despise and belittle what is beyond their reach or do not work to attain it.
As the year 2023 ends and 2024 begins, there are a lot of bitter, disappointed, and judgmental people, especially on the INTERNET. It is hard to find something good on social media.
At times, it is a universal struggle to be happy and content with life.
It doesn’t have to be like that. My New Year’s resolution is to encourage people of all ages to read more, especially some fables and fairy tales.
Society needs a break from the sour grapes of life.