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Guardians, Artisans, Ants And Grasshoppers

Aesop's "The Ant and the Grasshopper" gives us a splendid analogy for the contrasting styles of Guardian and Artisan. In the fable, Ant is dutifully transporting large crumbs of bread from site to storage while Grasshopper reclines on a blade of grass near Ant's path, playing the fiddle, chewing tobacco, and singing "The World Owes Me a Living." Ant, without losing stride, scolds Grasshopper for not preparing for the upcoming winter months: "Join me," he urges, "and we will fill the storehouse, thus ensuring that none will suffer cold or hunger." Grasshopper replies, "Ant, if you keep up this feverish pace, you won't make it to winter." Join me on my blade of grass, and we will enjoy together the warm summer, the food that abounds, and celebrate the world's debt to us in song." Each, of course ignores the other's warning and goes his own way. When it turns out to be a long, cold, hungry winter, Grasshopper must knock at Ant's door and stand there frostbitten and starving. Ant, snug in his storehouse of goodies, can't help but say "I told you so," then shakes his head and lets Grasshopper in.

-- David West Keirsey

from "Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence"

Quoted on Thu Oct 20th, 2011