Thales and the Olive Presses
In ancient times there dwelt in the Greek city of Miletus a man called Thales. He was not wealthy, but his wisdom had won him the respect of his fellow citizens. People would often gather to hear him speak, and were struck by the truth of his words. There were some, however, who could not see beyond his worn clothes, and humble circumstances.
Why do you heed him? they would say, he
only questions the good of riches and worldly pleasures because he cannot
get them. He is like the fox in the fable he only calls the grapes sour
because they hang way out of his reach.
What a fortune Thales of
Miletus must have gained! people said to each other.
Thales received their congratulations with a smile, and returned to his simple way of life. He had silenced his critics, and never again did anyone suggest that he cultivated virtue because he was too foolish to succeed in worldly affairs.
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