Monday, August 07, 2006


So I was sitting at a meeting today, a wonderful time... nothing like 8 hour meetings to get you pumped about starting school in one week. :) Well so anyways we had this wonderful story that got everyone a little bugged and I thought it odd since they all skirted the issue that seemed most important to me. So the story goes like this.

Once there was a wolf who was nearly dead with hunger. He was very thin, so thin that the outline of his bones could be seen clearly beneath his thinning coat of hair. With hardly enough energy to walk, the wolf had little hope of finding food. As he lay beneath a large tree, a dog out for a walk noticed him. Seeing how thin and hungry-looking the wolf was, the dog felt sorry for him and said, "You are in terrible shape! You look as if you haven't eaten for many days."

"You're right," said the wolf. "I haven't eaten because you and your friends are doing such a good job of guarding the sheep. Now I am so weak that I have little hope of finding food. i think I shall surely die."

"Then why not join us?" asked the dog. "I work regularly and I eat regularly. You could do the same. I will arrange it. You can help me and the other dogs guard the sheep. In that way, we won't have to worry about your stealing the sheep any more and you won't have to worry about going hungry any more. It's a good deal for both of us."

The wolf thought it over for a few minutes and then decided that the dog was right. So they went off together toward the ranch house where the dog lived. But, as they were walking, the wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of the dog's neck was very thin. He was curious about this, for the dog had such a beautiful coast everywhere else. Finally, he asked the dog about it.

"Oh, don't worry about that," said the dog. "It's the place where the collar rubs on my neck when my master chains me up at night."

"Chained up!" cried the wolf. "Do you mean that you are chained up at night? If I come to live with you, I will be chained up at night too?"

"That's right," answered the dog. "But you'll get used to it soon enough. I hardly think about it anymore."

"But, if I am chained up, then I won't be able to walk when I want to take a walk or run where I want to run," the wolf said. "If I come to live with you, I won't be free anymore." After saying this the wolf turned and began to run away.

The dog called after the wolf saying, "Wait! Come back! I may not be able to do everything I want to do, but I'm healthy, well-fed, and I have a warm place to sleep. You are too worried about keeping alive to enjoy life. I'm more free than you are."

----- From Learning About Law, Published by the Ohio State Bar Association.

So We are asked which we think is free. So it starts right away that everyone says the wolf, oh it's the wolf the dog is just a slave... this goes on and on as people fight which is more free. I kept trying to get in a word, but no one would let me speak... I know it's amazing. So finally the group's presenter says ok this woman has been waiting for so long to say something let her speak. So having my turn I say what about Mazlow. I know that each of them should know about the hierarchy of needs, especially when working with lower income kids. So I say the wolf can't every really be free because it will never be able to overcome those three basic needs that it would need to have to truly be able to enjoy freedom. It has no food and must search, it has no shelter, so it must search and it has no companions as it seems so it must search. Until these three basic things can met the wolf can't enjoy freedom. On the other hand the dog isn't much better off. While it has fulfilled the basic needs of any being, it is held captive not only by the expectations of the master, but also by the job that it is expected to do. So truthfully neither can say that they have any sort of freedom. That seemed to stop the conversation as a few people made remarks in agreement. The odd part was that I had three people afterward tell me that they had all wanted to say that but that they were overpowered by a few louder people. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about this, but I feel like at our school of lower income and poverty students, the concept of Maslow should be readily known and understood. Especially since it is often the basis of many of the things we have to overcome when working with our students. I guess I am still stumped as to what to think, does anyone have any input to give on the issue? I guess I'm just starting to think in circles now.


Blogger CJ said...

I'm not really all that knowledgable of Maslow, so I can't really add anything to that. But, way to go thinking things through and speaking up. I think that was probably an unexpected side lesson to the discussion. And one that certainly has as much merit as the primary one

12:24 PM  

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