Every enduring object or idea lasts because ordinary people focused on their goal and ignored the temptation of taking the easy path that leads to failure. History illustrates that great feats require arduous labor and wise preparation. During World War II, the Allies attacked a less than fully prepared German defense in Normandy on D-Day, which became a foothold in Europe for the Allies. The Chinese spent over 1,700 years developing the 3,700 mile-long Great Wall that successfully protected their country from Mongol invaders. The key difference in the outcomes of these events lies in the determination and preparation of the opposing sides. In the end, the more prepared side exploited the shortcomings of its opposition. Many writers have gained inspiration from the effects strong wills have had on human history, and the fruit of one forgotten author has remained a staple example of the benefits of labor since the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
The story of “The Three Little Pigs” (Disney Enterprises, 311-320) juxtaposes the beneficial rewards of hard work against the damaging effects of excessive leisure. The Germans (the foolish pigs) did not take the time to move enough troops to defend Normandy (the straw and stick houses) from the Allies (the wolf). In contrast, the Chinese (the wise brother) built the Great Wall (the brick house) which provided sufficient defense against the Mongols (the wolf). These two situations parallel “The Three Little Pigs” because in each case, the side that fully prepared survived while the side that did not prepare failed. This outcome is universal throughout history and throughout the world because every human can learn and grow from their experiences and failures.
The pool of events in history overflows with countless examples of this archetypal pattern of success and failure, and countless authors have created their own legends of lethargic failure, so the realm of literature rings with stories of the clash between preparation and laziness. In the parable of “The Man Who Built His House on the Rock”, a wise man’s secure house built on a rock contrasted with a foolish man’s house built on sand, demonstrates the reward of spending time to form a foundation correctly and the consequence of building a foundation poorly (New Scofield Study Bible, 1330). During a viscous storm, the two houses endure a test of stability. The first man’s apathetic attitude leaves him with a low quality house on a sandy surface that washed away when a storm came and parallels the careless approach of the first two Little Pigs. The second, wiser man avoids the first man’s mistake and decides to use a rock, an archetypal symbol of durability, as a base, which provides a sturdy foundation that parallels the third Little Pig’s brick house.
In these this version of hard work paradigm, the rain that washes away the first man’s foundation serves as the conflict in the same way that the...