Of Will, Ways, and Means

Of Will, Ways, and Means

We all know Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes. A hungry fox tries in vain to leap for a bunch of grapes on a vine high above him. After missing repeatedly, he moves on. “Probably sour anyway,” he remarks. “Might even have made me sick.” Thus the expression, “sour grapes,” negativity generated as a coping mechanism when we miss the mark.

In fact, the fox had the will; his hunger saw to that. He knew the way—that is, that he must gain altitude on par with the grapes. But he lacked the means. With no ladder or stairs he had to rely on his legs, which simply weren’t up to the task. These three things seem to be kept in equilibrium. When one element is missing, others compensate. In this case, lack of the means lead the fox to alter his will, from “I want those grapes,” to “Those were the wrong grapes for me.”

What isn’t often discussed is just what the fox’s alternatives were. He could either move on, or he could stay beneath those grapes until he withered away, pining for the juice that would never grace his lips. The fox lacked meaningful alternatives.

I don’t think there are a lot of people that need convincing on the problem of waste generally, and plastics in particular. But I think we also see the fox’s cognitive dissonance at work too. The problem is clear, so we have the will. But, lacking the ways and means, we are forced to deprioritize, to minimize or even ignore the problem. We accept incomplete solutions because they are possible. And, again, how else are we to behave? Those are logical responses when we genuinely lack alternatives.

We think Paper Water Bottle changes the equation by offering the ways and means to reignite the will. There is a better way, A Refreshing Alternative TM to both endless waste and perpetual stalemate, to resource depletion on one hand, and seemingly insurmountable changes in human nature on the other. Present the fox with a ladder, and his original will, his true self, reemerges. Innovation, whether in the form of the Paper Water Bottle, or any of a wide range of progressively more sustainable products, can achieve what gritted teeth alone may not. Given the ways and means, don’t we really all share the same will?

By |2017-07-12T00:11:03+00:00March 19th, 2015|