Once upon a time there was a well within which lived a group of frogs. These frogs believed that the world was flat, and that it was red in color.
Within the well, they had an unspoken hierarchy of frogs. All the yellow frogs believed that they were the most superior. This was because, as tadpoles they were made to eat slugs that were found on the left side of the well. Their elders had told them that the best slugs were found on the left, and hence they were the privileged ones. They grew up believing that they had eaten the best slugs, and therefore were better than all the other frogs. They assumed that they were the leaders, and kept trying to tell the other frogs what to do.
Many of the other frogs did not like it. They knew that superiority of frogs could not be defined by slugs alone. These frogs chose to peep out the holes in the well and watch the world go by. They suspected that the world wasn’t flat, and it wasn’t red. They suspected that just maybe the best slugs weren’t the ones found on the left side of their well. They questioned everything that was told, and kept arguing. However, the elders and the yellow frogs kept telling them they were wrong, and jealous. The elders were supposed to be the ones who knew everything. So nobody could argue with the elders.
Often, this was not said openly. Because these frogs also contributed very highly to the chores in the well. But this was hinted strongly. You could be the smartest frog around, or the best at doing something. But if you weren’t yellow, you wouldn’t ever get to be one of the respected elders. You wouldn’t get to be the one who decided which tadpoles ate the slugs, and got to be yellow when they grew up. Basically, the yellow frogs were a clique and they kept out all other frogs from decision making in the well.
But what they didn’t notice was that one by one, the other frogs were leaving the well. The other frogs had realized that what the yellow frogs thought was wrong. They could be important too, and they were smart enough to know that the world wasn’t flat, or red. They left the well, and went to lakes, rivers and oceans. They met other frogs, fish and many other animals. They learnt that life on the outside was tough, but it taught you many things. They went on to do great things.
The yellow frogs kept living in the well and thinking they were kings of the well. One by one, they started hearing about the frogs that left. They wind, the sun, the moon, other animals, and even human beings talked about the other frogs. About how they had changed the world. Nobody talked about the yellow frogs, infact nobody even knew they existed. They kept deluding themselves into believing they were the greatest. But deep, deep down they knew the truth. They were nothing. They were justifying their existence because they could not take the truth of knowing that they were wrong. And they did not have the courage to leave the well and discover what was out there.
Sometimes, one has to leave the well to realize one’s true worth.
Because the frogs in the well convince you that you aren’t really good. But they don’t even know that the world isn’t flat, or red. They are a product of a system that is flawed and skewed toward consumption of the slugs from the left side of the well. Maybe frogs don’t have to eat slugs. Maybe frogs can go out into the world and make human beings talk about their greatness.
To find out, you need to leave the well.