Leonem mortuum et catuli mordent.

Even puppies are brave enough to bite a dead lion.

(pron = lay-oh-nehm mohr-toom eht cah-too-lee mohr-dehnt)

Comment: Puppies, I suppose, know that they are supposed to be fierce and
ferocious in order to fend off any threat to their territory. At least, when
they are grown dogs that will be one thing they do. And, as long as they are
puppies, we can smile as we watch them practice on a predator that is no longer
a threat, because, the lion is dead.

When, however, a grown dog is still only willing to bite a dead lion, this is no
longer funny. Now, it is just pathetic, for the grown dog is not being what it
is. It is now putting on an act, pretending, and only doing what any weakling
will do.

Human beings really struggle with this. Whatever instincts and intuitions we
come with for who we are, or what we are to develop into are often muted by the
messages that adults feed us from our births. For example, while I may have an
inner muse inspiring me to write music or farm the earth, my parents might be
telling me to be an architect or be a doctor. I may end up playing doctor for
the rest of my life, and feeling very inauthentic for it. Indeed, I am the
puppy playing at attacking the dead lion.

I can only play brave if I have never explored my true self. So, puppies, the
proverb is saying: consider who you are. Practice on a dead lion if you will,
but grow into your own best self. Nothing less will do.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
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