Short stories have always been an indispensable part of our childhood. Speaking of them, remember the story of ‘The Wolf and The Lamb’ from ‘Aesop’s Fables’? It’s basically about how the Wolf wants to find a reason to kill the Lamb, just about any reason. As it is implied, the moral of this story is –
Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
Now, let us think of this in terms of our college life. When you are done with school, college is seen as the next step; and it is a huge change in terms of setting, surroundings, company etc. It’s almost like a new world. Until then, you had been living a sheltered life, within your own, comfortable world. College changes that. It is a different experience altogether.
So, you meet new people from across the country. The more you hang out with them, the more you get to know them. Subconsciously, you tend to categorize them in groups like “attitude ones”, or the “fun ones” etc. You get the picture. Now, I want you to try categorizing them into the groups of ‘Wolves’ and ‘Lambs’, on the basis of the short story.
Let me give you an example. It’s a personal experience. I had a huge, HUGE crush on this guy in my college, in my first year. He was one of those typical… well, college guys. Anyway, I think he sensed my (not so subtle) glances at him, because he befriended me, and before I knew it, I was sitting and doing all of his assignments. Yeah, I fell for that one. Not that he was a tyrant or something, but he always managed to get his way, and I would always end up doing his work, because he knew I liked him. He played upon my weakness (for him). Funny, because he used to hum the tune of ‘Brother Wolf, Sister Moon’, by ‘The Cult’… never mind.
You had to choose a topic for your assignment but she made it sound like you wouldn’t be able to, so you chose another (not so interesting) topic? You wanted to join the basketball team but he was just waiting for you to make that ONE mistake, to find a reason to not let you join?
Sounds familiar? That’s them, the wolves. They search for preys (read - people) and pounce on them by attacking their weaknesses, and when you’re in college, you cannot afford to be a Lamb – the weaker one or the less fortunate one, in terms of … being a tyrant or anything similar to that (I thought that was a good thing, but.. moving on..) or else you will end up losing out on a lot of opportunities and experiences during your college life.
They’re often in some sort of a disguise (maybe in that of a Lamb itself!), by pretending to want to know you (like my ex-crush (yay!)), with only one aim – to come to know of your weaknesses, so that they can target those areas. For example, they (pretend to) want a group (of you two) assignment and he/she knows that you’re not comfortable with a particular topic. He/she will assign that portion to you only, and defend it by saying something like “Oh, but I wanted the other portion, I’m more comfortable with that”, even though that might not be the case. They just want you to underperform, and make the others see your underperformance. Ah, yes. ‘Scheming’ and ‘cunning’ would be two very appropriate adjectives for these howling (and vindictive) wolves.
The aim is to not be a Lamb. Stand up for your choices and your opinion(s). Only you should be given the reigns when it comes to deciding things for yourself. Don’t let others do that. Don’t bleat and retreat! Stand your ground (or lake, if you want to go by the fable). By the way, this doesn’t mean you become a wolf yourself, by putting others down! I know, I know. “There is cut-throat competition nowadays” etc. Where’s the fun in winning this competition of life by undermining others? There wouldn’t be any difference between you and the wolves, then. What’s the point, right?
I was a Lamb-type in school. Yes. In school, itself! My parents were worried that I wouldn’t be able to “cope” with my college life.
Initially, they were being proven right, but then I realised that, “Hey. It’s my life. Why should I let a conniving being decide all this for me?”
I’m glad it hit me at the right time. Third year is fun, now. I’ve become more assertive. No more bleating-sheating, just the good old ‘standing up for myself’ thing.
Putting it down in a verse,
'Don’t be a coward, put up a healthy fight,
Let everyone see your honest might;
Reach for your goal, do not fear its toll.
Rise as much as you can, shine as bright as YOU want to,
Be patient and wait for your much deserved and rightful due.’
Don’t be a wolf or a lamb. I know we all become caffeinated owls on the day(s) and night(s) before our exam(s), but for the other days, let’s just be … simple, (healthily) ambitious humans?
That sounds good to me. What about you?
P.S – I know a lot of people will disagree with me, saying that it’s a bad, bad world out there, and to play their game, we need to be like them. True, but, that doesn’t have to necessarily be done by trampling on other people, because what goes around, comes around, right?
Photography By: Karthik KS