Tag Archives: kenneth grahame

The Honey Badger: Icon of stoic action

“People come – they stay for a while, they flourish, they build – and they go. It is their way. But we remain. There were badgers here, I’ve been told, long before that same city ever came to be. And now there are badgers here again. We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be.” The Wind in the Willows Chapter 4

Remember The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame as a child?. Just as enjoyable now as it was when I recall hearing my father read it to me as a child, the tale gives us interesting insights into human motives and relationships through the eyes of a rat, mole, badger, toad, some hedgehogs and an otter to name but a few. Having recently read the Letters from a Stoic, I dwelled upon the different characters and picked out badger for further appraisal. Not only does he represent certain stoic traits, his anthropomorphized nature reveals to us qualities we should aspire to in our quest for holistic integration of mind-body awareness as primal movers. I´ll explain.

The honey badger is undoubtedly fearless. He goes hard for his goals, and pushes on through awkward or disadvantageous circumstances. Tenacity and bravery, and the desire to eat, climb, run, fight when needed and relax. And Mr. Badger from the classic 1908 fable displays the wisdom and simplistic approach to living that rubs off on some of his more boastful and frivolous friends. Mr. Badger overlooks the faults of rat, mole, toad and weasel to show compassion, forgiving, generosity and hospitality in often testing times. Throughout the tale, Mr. Badger quietly displays his physical strength and mental wisdom, not seeking the limelight, but always there to guide others should they need his assistance. A bit of a loner, or perhaps just appreciating his own company, he always opens his burrow to visitors and has food at the ready. He is a conciseness planner as well, and seems to display sound judgment. He is even feared by the weasels, and his qualities make him the obvious leader.

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.” Plato

Mr. Badger and his fearless honey badger relative optimize the integration of a strong and stoic mind/body unity that needs to be aspired to in today’s modern society. Think well, be alert to your surrounds, work hard to achieve your basic necessities, strive to overcome adversity, be humble and respect your close friendships and personal relationships, learn to feel comfortable in your OWN company, relax and feel alive from being strong and healthy, challenge rules and regulations even if the odds seem stacked against you, plan well yet be spontaneous and sometimes mysterious and finally be aware of your place as a unique primal being, not just a building block of someone else’s manifestation of power.

For these reasons, I choose the mighty badger, as Hufflepuff have done at Hogwarts, as the official PrimalMovers animal icon. Showing pride, loyalty, love and wisdom, the badger is unsurprisingly the only animal to have its own Act of Parliament in Britain. Oh, and apparently the British army released some honey badgers in Basra to conduct some reconnaissance during the occupation of Iraq. Hard core.


Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Philosophy, Thinking


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