Without Truth, Freedom Is A Beautiful Lie — A Story
Truth and freedom, which one comes first? There is no straight answer.
Dear friends, let me tell you a story.
A frog lives at the bottom of an abandoned well. It’s a happy frog. Why? Because he is totally free to explore the world –well, a world in the well. He sleeps in the holes on the wall, eats worms in the mud. The water is at his armpits, he never gets drowned; the mud at his ankles, he never gets stuck. He had some friends, crabs, tadpoles, etc. but no one outpowers him. The sky overhead is just a small disk.
Gua~gua~~he croaks with joy every day. One day his cry attracts a visitor. A sea turtle stuck out his little head over the top of the well.
“Gua~~ I am totally free here.” the frog shouts from the bottom. “No water drowns me; no rival outsmarts me. I own both the earth and the sky.”
“Why don’t you come down live with me?” He tries to lore the turtle. The turtle is almost convinced. He reaches out one foot over the edge, then his body. Bang~ his head hits the side of the well.
“Ouch~ Your world is so small,” says the turtle.
“Have you heard about the ocean? Its surface goes beyond thousands of miles. There are a lot of floods but it never goes up. There are a lot of droughts but it never goes down. I swim all my life but I have never reached the end of the horizon.”
It’s a Chinese fable. The first time I heard it, it was told by my father.
He didn’t know whether his mother was alive or not until he was about 30. Before that, all he knew was that his father died when he was 4. Then his mother left him and went with an army that passed the village. It was not an uncommon story in the time of war. Dad was raised by his uncles, joined the Communist Army at 16, and became a tough soldier. Years later, he became a military officer.
He was well on the path to go much higher. Then a letter came from his hometown. His mother had come back with two little boys. She re-married a military officer in the Kuomintang party, which was defeated by the Communist party. They went back to her husband’s…