I have had the pleasure of being afforded the opportunity to travel and experience many things in my short life. And from these experiences I hope to convey some sort of message, take what you want from it but just read along and follow if you can relate. Before I go any deeper I want to underline my way of thinking. In my group of personal friends, we like to use the term “zebras and horses”. This is used to explain the dynamic of blending into ones surroundings to obtain a specific goal but never forgetting who or what you truly are and why you came.
The zebra and horse are related and stem from the equidae family in the world of animals. To me, the zebra is the more uncivilized cousin who has yet to be tamed by man, and the horse is the beautiful spoiled cousin who not only looks good, but has the look we all know and love.
For a moment, let’s pretend a group of horses are drinking from a stream, and a zebra decides to join in. At first glance, the horses reject him based on looks, zebra mannerisms, zebra posture, and so on. They use everything that makes him a zebra against him. The zebra stops drinking and strikes a conversation at the stream which grabs the horse’s attention and holds their appeal. He fills them with everything they want to hear and more and leaves them wanting more; in fact he gets invited to the horse headquarters.
The zebra humbly accepts the invitation and does indeed attend. While there he not only eats, drinks, and break bread with his new friends, he has also quasi assimilated himself and in a way, infiltrated there way of life. They all smoke, and dance, and sing and play. The zebra shows them how to live life. He tells stories and jokes, enticing their imprisoned minds, forcing them to wander, while filling them with debauchery. Feeding them the forbidden fruit so to speak. When all is said and done, the horses are all partied out, the zebra bids them farewell. Which they accept and return the gesture. He doesn’t over stay his welcome, he doesn’t leave them with any bad impressions, and in fact he leaves with their hearts and minds. He continuously shows vigor and pride amongst the other beasts and they in turn, favor him.
Leaving a lasting impression on his new friends, he returns to zebra headquarters and to the amazement of some, not all of his friends, he is ok. Some ask how it was, others ask what was it like, and even a few of his brothers are upset because he left his kind to socialize with the hobnob horses. None of them realize that what the zebra has done was remain true to himself and great things happened. Never forgetting that he is different, instead using that to sell himself. In a more devious aspect he was now on the inside, able to perpetuate the idea of civility amongst the horses and leave them with nothing. It was his intellect and zeal that got him in the door and it will be his cunning and corruption that will allow him to leave with everything. After all, at the end of the day, he is a zebra.
To me, this simply means that sometimes we have to use the gifts we are given to gain a living in a less conventional way. If the gift you use attracts flies, attract them with shit. Never be afraid to put on different faces and wear different hats because that’s always going to be a part of life. Are you an untamed, cunning, diabolic zebra, or a naïve and ignorant horse? Btw, even if the two breed, the offspring will still be striped.