The Taoist Zhuangzi (4th century BCE) told this tale:
Once there was a frog that lived in a deep, narrow well. He had never seen anything else.
One day, a sea turtle came upon the well and shouted down the deep, narrow hole: “Hello! Anybody down there?”
“Yes,” said the frog. “Come on down for a visit and see the greatest body of water on earth!”
“What?” said the sea turtle. “Haven’t you seen the ocean?”
“Why would I want to?” shouted the frog.
“Because you are mistaken!” said the sea turtle. “The ocean is much greater than your deep, narrow well. The ocean is so grand that drought never makes it lower and floods never raise it.”
“Liar!” shouted the frog. “Go away!”
So, the sea turtle went on her way, wondering at the depth of willful ignorance.*
A story for your reflection.
How many Americans have passports? What percentage of Americans have journeyed outside the nation’s borders?
How many Americans can afford international travel, whether that be in money or time or both?
Could Zhuangzi’s frog have gotten himself out of the well, had he tried?
Sure, I’m being too literal about it. Zhuangzi is making a spiritual point, not an economic or physical one.
Still, I am taken aback, contemplating what the frog writes on Twitter.
Tao Jiang, “Beyond Dust and Grime,” Aeon.com.