Monday, 22 July 2019

Feeding the Noble Horse

Imagine a chariot drawn by two winged horses. Imagine that one horse is a noble steed with impeccable breeding and manners; and the other is a dark and dodgy character, a herring-gutted nag who evades, bucks, rears and naps. We, as the charioteer, are the voice of reason (Uebersax, n.d.). Plato suggests this allegory as the duality of human nature: our chariot is constantly drawn in non-aligned directions by these two horses, who have very different agendas (Wikipedia, 2 May 2019). The light and the dark; the good and the bad; angel and devil; service versus selfishness.

Like the wolf allegory attributed to North American Indians (Wikipedia, 6 May 2019), the horse which wins is the horse we feed. If we feed our "black" horse, we will reward ourselves for being lazy, we will procrastinate, we will waste our time watching cat videos and looking at shoe porn on the internet, creating our own crises. We will behave, as my Grandmother used to say, like we are "all talk and no trousers".

However, if we, as the charioteer, feed the "noble" horse, we build good habits, we reward ourselves for making good choices, we apply techniques to limit procrastination and manage our time as well as we can. Through self-awareness, we self-regulate (Goleman, 1998). We don't aim to be perfect, but to behave along noble lines.

I am thinking that this could be the year of the charioteer feeding the noble horse.



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