Why the tortoise always wins the race

26 July 2015

Aesop was said to be a Greek slave and storyteller believed to have lived between 620 and 560 BC in ancient Greece. Many of the stories associated with Aesop’s name have descended to modern day society via various sources. Nobody is really sure if Aesop made up these fables. However, they are timeless and this is why they have been recounted over and over again for several thousand years.

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is one of Aesop’s Fables and gives an account of a race between unequal partners. Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.

They raced each other and, without going into the whole story, the tortoise won the race – ingenuity and perseverance were employed to overcome the hare who was perceived as a stronger opponent. In life, the opponent is sometimes just an issue which presents a great challenge. In genealogy, it could be when the information just doesn’t stack up right.

Hares might run faster towards the finish line but does that mean that they win? We – at FWL – are certainly finding that ingenuity means that we win the race. Speed is not always of the essence.

Frequently, our clients do not take to the fast “bull in a china shop” approach. Recently, one of our clients was told (by another company) that the estate they would potentially benefit from was ‘modest’ – what the heck does that mean? No-one knows the value of an estate prior to having our claim accepted by the Government Legal Department so why even comment on it? Tell the truth. Be polite, courteous and empathetic. Take it slow and steady and provide the client with the information you know, not what they want to hear. That’s what we do at FWL anyway.

And guess what? It works.

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