Sour Grapes

I’ve always found it strange how people use the expression sour grapes in a negative way, as if they believe that to have the mindset of sour grapes, the perspective of sour grapes, is to in some way hurt oneself. That by being a person with sour grapes, you are a kind of absurd clown. But what is sour grapes? The fable from where it was derived goes like this,

“Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.'”

The moral that most derive from this story is that the fox is a sore loser, and that his refusal to see the good in what he can not have is a character flaw. I see it differently, I see the fox as a heroic figure, valiantly coping with a subpar situation. After all, what is the value in praising what is out of one’s reach? Our lives are limited and we can only experience so many things in the time we have. To value what is not within our destiny is to desire what is not within our destiny, and by wishing to have what we can not have, we cultivate the greatest source of suffering known to man. By talking down the grapes, by belittling the grapes, the fox is removing their value from his mind, and by removing their value he removes the anguish at being unable to attain them. To sour grapes is to cope, and to cope is to conquer the gauntlet of the demiurge.

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