What can a cow and Socrates learn from each other?

One of Bambi’s friends called to check on her as she kindly often does since February 22, 2021 at the abrupt start of the cancel culture saga that has targeted not just academic freedom, through Bambi, but spread beyond to attack freedom of expression in our universities and society in general.

Bambi’s ongoing saga took exponential levels, as she is now suspended from her job without pay, based on false accusations and clichés about her blog. Make no mistake. Today, it is Bambi’s turn. Tomorrow, it may be yours. No one is immune, not even those resorting to this dangerous game as it can backfire one day on them too. Is this where we want our workplaces, province and country to be today, tomorrow… and in 5, 10, and 20 years from now?    

When chatting about the start of this sad story, Bambi’s friend asked her if she recalls that old Lebanese saying that goes like that: “When the cow falls, many butchers run at her at once” (each one wanting a piece, so to speak). She almost forgot about it with time, but what does it mean? It means that some may just watch the cow that fell down in silence (perhaps indifferent, perhaps paralyzed by fear). Yet others will kindly offer their kind support or advice. Yet others (these are the “butchers” in the saying) will come forward to add fuel to the fire of agony or resort to threats of violence. Others can shamelessly resort to, and/or use, false accusations about the cow to justify the killing of the cow. To expand this image to human behaviour during a situation of mobbing or attempt to cancel, some can enjoy their senseless aggressive move.

Luckily for the cow, she remains zen and even happy, despite any ordeal, thanks to a good life lesson from Socrates. Indeed, the cow has learned from Socrates, or rather from her philosophy high school teacher’s lessons about the famous “Know thyself” expression. When we know ourselves, we know whom we are as human beings (i.e., our respect of others, compassion, and care). In other terms, we know our values and we stand by them. We know how we always treat everyone. We also know well how others should treat us in return (with respect!). No butcher in life will tell the cow that she is this or that… to silence her voice. Even if the whole world is filled with butchers repeating clichés and/or fabricating stories that never took place, the cow remains dignified in the face of unjust adversity in life. Easy for her because she knows the truth about whom she is and she remains forever committed to freedom of expression. The cow rises above butchers in life, including those that operated during civil wars as well as those who resort to or hide behind lies.

Of course, knowing thyself helps in taking critical decisions in life. However, perhaps most importantly to the cow, knowing herself helps her in double refusal in life: To be butchered and to become a butcher to another fellow cow!

5 thoughts on “What can a cow and Socrates learn from each other?”

  1. You experience of he University as a punitive surveillance state is something Foucault, the father of modern identity politics, would have had something to say about.

  2. Keep on writing, Bambi! With organization we will defeat this monster. “Investigations” like the one you have endured are always a farce. Mount Allison University should be ashamed of itself.

  3. I like the cow metaphor and looking forward to Bambi’s comments after you’ve read Orwell’s Animal Farm. 🙂

      1. You may want to put this book at the very top of your to-do-list, Bambi! A very timely fairy tale. Considering what you are going through, you will enjoy reading it, I am sure of that.

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