Sunday, December 26, 2010

There's a tide in the affairs of men..really?

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows and in miseries"

These famous lines (from the play Julius Caesar) are used to demonstrate the importance of seizing the initiative. After all, Cassius persuades Brutus to join the conspiracy against Caesar-and that changed the course of history.

With due respect to the noble sentiments expressed above, Brutus was 'drowned' by the tide he took at the flood. He, and the other conspirators, met their end in the subsequent war against Mark Anthony. That brings us to the point whether these lines are appropriate as a motivational tool? After all, the person who acted on them met his end.

Should'nt we instead use this an as objective lesson to

  • Avoid being influenced by sentimental appeal/metaphors
  • Look before you leap.

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