Jack and the Beanstalk theory of success!
By Ali Wilson
Do you want to succeed in life? Jack And The Beanstalk is the map to that success…
Doing a lot of reading to Ellia with these old school tales is just wicked fun, the books have some crazy theories and crazy stuff that goes on, and there’s a lot I can’t wrap my head around, but man, Jack and that big ol’ beanstalk is without a doubt my favourite, the lessons contained in that story are GOLD, and what warms my heart is that it seems to be Ellia’s favourite too.
So let’s break that tale down, because there is much to distill!
Jack is flat broke, living with his mum in a dive. They ain’t got nothing left but a cow, so Jack’s mum says to Jack to take that cow and sell it in town. This is their LAST thing they can sell, apart from their bodies, but luckily we never find out Jack’s mum’s hourly rates.
So Jack takes that cow to town, but before he gets there he meets an old man. That old man sells Jack some magic beans in exchange for the cow. Now there is a few interesting things about this exchange. First of all, how many of you, despite KNOWING the end of tale, still think Jack is a retard? “I wouldn’t listen to no crackpot old fool!” If you think like that yet while still knowing how Jack gets on, you’re an idiot and have no hope. Next is that Jack BELIEVES in the magic beans. Having the luxury of knowing the whole story, we KNOW those beans are magical, yet all Jack had was belief, and boy, did he believe! He sold the last thing his family had (except his mum’s sweet favours) for a risky venture, but hell he BELIEVED in the investment. And then there’s the old man… This fella is OLD, and yet has some magic that he’s willing to sell for a measly cow? How long did he have the beans for? He knew they were magic, yet did nothing… and now he’s just an old man with a cow. What he lacked was COURAGE to use what he knew was magic. That old man deserves to be outlived by a walking hamburger.
So Jack, all excited and buzzing (and why wouldn’t he be? He’s just nailed an AMAZING investment!) runs home to tell his mum the amazing news… And of course being sensible she takes a mum sized dump on it and throws them beans out the window. And this WILL happen. Those nearest and dearest to you will doubt what you’re doing, out of self interest or your interest or whatever, doesn’t mean they hate you, but blimey if you believe in something then you have to be willing to out last their doubt!
The biggest part of the entire story, the real crux of what matters, is this next bit…. Because the next day in their garden is a beanstalk on steroids. This thing is stabbing God in the bum it’s so damn big. Now what you have to do here, is put yourself in this situation. How many of you would wake up, look out the window, and think “Well, that’s a big plant.”, acknowledge that the beans were in fact magical, and live the rest of your lives with a massive plant out back? How many people would even have the slightest inkling to CLIMB that thing, to see what was in the clouds? This is OPPORTUNITY on an enormous and unknown scale, but easily missed. Bruce Lee referenced it in terms of a ‘finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.’ (some poor dude got smacked for looking at the finger). Jack, being the lad that he is, a man of belief, just sees a ladder!
So Jack climbs that beanstalk (seriously, how many risks will this guy take? The guy’s thirst for moving forward is RELENTLESS and beautiful!) and what lies at the top? A massive giant castle. Not a regular sized castle, which tend to big anyway, but a GIANT’S castle. And Jack is hungry…. So he knocks on the giant sized door. Does he act like a sneaky, cowardly creep and look for a way his diminutive stature would benefit him in getting in unseen and stealing some food? Hell no, Jack is a straight forward kind of guy and knocks on a hundred foot high door, and then when a giantess answers he asks for some food! And she responds to his open, honest directness with kindness.
So with Jack getting his eat on (supersize this!), the male giant shows his face. It seems even his wife thinks he’s an idiot, and he sets about trying to screw Jack up. Jack manages to not only evade Giant dickhead, but also stumble across a golden egg laying hen, and promptly takes that. Then flees the scene, back down the beanstalk. With the Giant following, Jack manages to quickly convince his mum to help him cut the beanstalk down, thus killing the giant. Think you’re a big man? Think you can constantly mess with others you think are smaller than you? Somewhere out there are Jacks, and they don’t give a damn how big you think you are.
That last bit could come across as Jack showing his true colours, murder, theft, coercion, whatever. Let’s get this straight RIGHT NOW. At no point did Jack initiate any malevolent behaviour towards anyone. The male giant came in and straight away tried to mess things up, yet the female giant had invited Jack in as a guest. That golden hen asked to be rescued, which Jack did with no hesitation whatsoever. And Jack managed to convince his mother, even after her initial rejection of the beans, to help him end that giant’s reign of terror. In fact the entire story has Jack acting in his truest, sincerest belief in everything he’s doing, even if it requires some unsavoury or hard or flat out terrifying acts, Jack is down to do what needs to get done.
And then obviously Jack lives forever after with a stock pile of golden eggs, but you know what, GOOD ON HIM. He sorts his mum out, again even though she doubted his initial investment, he didn’t act out of spite or resentment.
So we have Jack’s mum, and they’re poor, maybe because of her lack of vision? And the old man, who clearly had a lack of courage, poor enough he’ll settle for a cow. And the female giant, living with a dickhead she don’t like, and now she’s a broke widow. And the big giant nasty idiot, who’s now dead. And then Jack himself, forging ahead at EVERY TURN, taking risks, believing in everything he’s doing, being open, honest, and utterly convinced he’s doing the right thing… And that man is sitting in a paradise of his own making.
Jack, you are my hero.