The Tortoise and Hare Quit the Rat Race

by Dr. Paul

“This Tortoise is such a dull, heavy creature!” said the Hare.

“Not really dull, but he’s heavy for sure,” said the Rat.

“And you, Rat,” said the Hare, “Not so heavy, but just as dull. You are worse than either of us. Nothing but average. Average weight, and average smarts.”

Butting in, the Tortoise said, “Just because the Rat is average doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of great things. It is up to him to decide to do great things, just like one as heavy as me.”

“I completely disagree,” said the Hare. “You are what you are. We can’t change who we are. I, for example, am speedy, and you both are sluggishly slow.”

“We’ll see,” said the Tortoise, “I’ll run with you both for a wager.” Then he looked at them all. “Done,” said the Hare, and they asked the Fox to be the judge.

As the Tortoise, the Hare, and the Rat talked about the details of the race, the start and finish-lines, and strategy at their contest, a crowd of Rats began to gather around to see what all the fuss was about. (And to have something to gawk at while loitering.)

When the starting gun finally fired, the Tortoise began a steady jog, even as the Hare scampered far, far ahead.

But the Rat simply stopped a few steps from the starting line when he saw the amazing speed with which the Hare hopped along. “What’s the use?” he said, “I can beat the Tortoise, but never would I catch that Hare! I have better things to do, like digging through garbage-cans. There is the easier prize, one I can taste-a nice, leftover piece of meat or bread.”

Now, meanwhile, the Hare laid himself down midway in the course, and took a nap. “No worries,” he said, “I can catch up with the Tortoise when I please.” But it seems he overslept himself, for when he came to wake, though he scuttled away as fast as possible, the Tortoise had slogged along to the post before him and won the wager.

The crowd of Rats was left scratching their heads as to why the race had gone that way. Dejected, they scampered away again to their Rat-lives, back to the old “Rat Race” with their heads hanging low. Their representative had not even made the effort. He did not decide to even try at racing. And the same is true for Humans. Slow and Steady wins the race, but never entering the race is a sure way to lose.

If you want to quit the Rat Race, you will have to join the Human Race. You will have to try. You will have to put yourself to the test. You will have to decide your fate rather than letting the world make decisions about YOU.


This is an extract from a book of the same name, which challenges us to start… Have you entered the race or are you dangling your feet in the water? Give me a shout if you want support to dive in.

1 thought on “The Tortoise and Hare Quit the Rat Race

  1. Jennifer Manlowe

    This is a great invitation to question my attitude and frame work about work a a race I may want to opt out of…but then what do I do? Even though I’m a rabbit (both temperamentally and in my Chinese Astrology), I feel more sympathetic with the rats who don’t even want to run the race. In my case, it’s not even that it (corporate culture) looks too hard to win … rather, it looks too boring with only one winner. I’d rather read books, see movies, play games like frisbee, build puzzles or sandcastles. Would I be a good client for you or do you have to be in the culture wanting out? Thanks for all your insights.


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