Friday, August 13, 2010

Freakin' Fantastic Friday!

My friend BA sent me an email with the following story about King Arthur. Now, there is much, much truth in this story -- not of the 'real' kind though as I doubt the events described ever really happened. But, the moral of the story, now that's another matter. Because, the moral is about 'choice'. Our choice. The one each of us has to be our own true selves.

It would be nice to believe we all have this choice. That we all have the capacity to "AMP" up our lives. Because to live the lives of our dreams, we need, Autonomy. Mastery. Purpose.

The sad reality is that for many, purpose never becomes expressed because, they are not autonomous. They do not have master over their destiny. Over their choices even.

Like the people we serve at the shelter where I work. It is nice to think -- everyone has the capacity to AMP up their lives -- but reality paints a very different picture. For countless many, poverty has driven them below the line of self-sustenance into that grey zone where they cannot conceive of being independent, self-sustaining beings. Abuse. Family violence. Street violence. Parental neglect. Lack of education. Foster care. Divorce. and a host of other situations that keep creating compound negative value in their lives leave people with few thoughts of autonomy, little sense of mastery and no sense of purpose.

It has been one of the greatest lessons of my work at the shelter. For some, there truly is no 'choice'. For some, there is no thought that says -- I can do this differently. Because their birth was not their choice. their family of origin not of their creation. Their road to adulthood beyond their control -- and even if it were, within their control, they did not have the thoughts forming that suggested they could be 'autonomous. masterful. purposeful' in this life. And until we recognize the concept of 'choice' is a reflection of where we're at on the road of life, what side of the street we inhabit based on the privileges of our birth, we will perpetuate the belief, as one man said to me recently, "He chose to be here. Let him sink."

And the story goes... Once upon a time, Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question.

Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?... What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc.. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life. He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.

He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: What a woman really wants, she answered.... is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding. The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom.

But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer?

Beautiful during the day... or night? Lancelot pondered the predicament.

During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

Think about it -- what would you do?

Noble Lancelot was very wise. He said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Now .... what is the moral to this story?

Ahhh, well that's where it gets really interesting...

The moral is..... If you don't let a woman have her own way.... Things are going to get ugly

Have a freakin' fantastic Friday!


Anonymous said...


we live a life of hard choices - and what your story proves so cleary, is that laughter is always a good choice that lightens the load

happy weekend.


Maureen said...

A freakin' fantastic post!

Just had this thought: Another way to approach the stories you've collected from the shelter is to write them as you do here, through the magic of other stories. You've very good at this. Let me know what you think. I do want to help see the project through.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Great story ... and Maureen's right ... this project deserves its place in the world.

Jeff Jordan said...

It took me about one year of marriage to understand the truth you speak here:)

I think Maureen's idea is really good too!

And, thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comments...

Anonymous said...

leaves me much to think about.

Anonymous said...

Hi dear LG, you've weaved your magic once again and made a great story out of this tale. I too agree with Maureen! Love, BA