Better the devil you know……………………….

I was told this story several years ago by a director I was working for when we were closing down a company.

Back in the days when small islands in the Aegean Sea were individual states and principalities there was a small isolated island where a revolution was brewing to overthrow the despotic leader. The citizens of the island banded together in secret to organise a coup to rid themselves of the tyrant. Every single person on the island agreed to support the coup apart from one very elderly lady living in a remote mountain top farm.

The willing citizens asked her time and time again if she would join them but each time she declined the offer.

Eventually, a leader of the proposed coup made the effort and asked her why she wouldn’t join in.

‘Several years ago. Well before most of you were born and before some of you can remember this island was ruled by the most evil of evil men’ she began.

‘I was young then like you and felt strong about helping the other people in getting rid of him. I wanted something different, something better, my heart burned with this desire. I argued with my parents about it. I argued with my aunts and uncles as well. It seemed only the young wanted change and we were going to get it’ she continued.

‘On the agreed night we captured the evil ruler, bound and tied him. Put him in a boat with some food and water, let the wind fill the sails and watched his boat disappear over the horizon. After the boat had disappeared we had a great celebration. We were free. We were free. We drank and danced until the dawn when we chose our new leader. We hoped he would be better than the last one and he was for a while but then he started to become evil and demanding until he became worse than the one we had got rid of’.

‘That leader, the one we chose after our coup is the one you want to get rid of now…………are you really sure things will be better after he has gone?’.


About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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