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January 31, 2007

Stories for EL, Issue #001 -- Ants and Grasshoppers?

Would you like to explain the importance of proactive behaviour using a story?

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Training games

30th January, 2007; Issue 1; Ants and Grasshoppers

Table of Contents:
  • Are you an ant or a grasshopper?

Are you an ant or a grasshopper?

Have you heard the story?

There was once a grasshopper who loved life. He spent his time lazing in the sun, eating when he wanted to, sleeping when he wanted to, generally enjoying himself all the time. He lived like he did not have a care in the world. One day as he was sun-bathing, he saw an ant pushing a bread crumb across the ground. The grasshopper asked, "Hey brother! What are you doing?" The ant replied, "I am gathering food for the winter while the weather is still warm. Once winter sets in, I am going to stay home and just eat from my stock of food." The grasshopper made fun of the ant's dull life and went on sun bathing saying, "There's enough time for such boring work. You shuld take time to have fun like me." Soon the summer passed and the winter started to set in. As the weather became colder, it became harder for the grasshopper to get out. However, he soon started to feel hungry. He decided to brave the weather and find himself some food. But when he stepped out, everything was covered with snow and he could not find anything to eat. He continued to search for food everyday. He did not find anything. Finally, he grew weak and died of hunger.

Which one of the two was Proactive?

The ant of course. What are the characteristics of Proactivity present in the ant?

  • He knew himself, potentials and strengths: that he was tiny; that with the help of his teammates, there was nothing he could not achieve - it did not matter how big the morsel of food was.
  • He knew the event that was coming on him: the winter and its severity
  • He knew the resources at his disposal: his teammates and time available to him in the summer

What are the characteristics of non-Proactivity present in the grasshopper?

  • He did not know himself, potentials or strengths. He thought he was bigger than the ant and so nothing could happen to him. He was big enough to carry his food singlehandedly.
  • He did not know the severity of the event that was going to visit him - the winter.
  • He did not know the 'limitedness' of the resources at his disposal. He had no teammates and before he could say 'Jack Robinson' the summer had passed.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? Let me have it, right between the eyes! I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think of the suitability of this story to explain 'Proactivity!

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