ハリネズミの寓話

日本にはハリネズミはいないので、そもそも寓話に出てくることはありませんが、海外では、しばしばハリネズミが擬人化され寓話に出てきます。その人間像は「まじめで、不器用な性格」といった感じでしょうか。

心理学でよく使われる寓話では、ハリネズミが二匹出てきて、二匹共に寒いので、お互いの体温で暖まろうと抱き合ったところ、針が刺さって痛い思いをする。痛いので離れると今度は寒い思いをする。というハリネズミのジレンマとして言い伝えられています。

これは、過度に集団に接近しすぎると独自ある個性としての人間が弱くなり、逆に過度に個性を主張しすぎると社会的存在として機能することが難しくなる。結論的には、適度な人間関係の距離感を見極めることが、社会で生きていくためには必要であるということです。

もう一つの寓話は、ビジョナリーカンパニーを書いたビルコリンズの本の中に出てくる。ハリネズミの法則。

これは、キツネとハリネズミが出てくるヨーロッパに伝わる寓話で

器用なキツネは、毎回あの手この手を使ってハリネズミを襲おうとして、戦術を駆使します。しかし、不器用でのろまなハリネズミはそれに対して体を丸めるというたった一つのことだけを徹底的に行って身を守ります。そして、キツネはそれに手も足も出なくて降参するという筋書きです。

これの示唆することは、あれこれ器用に多角的に物事をやるよりも、一点集中で世界一になるまでその一点を磨くことが長期的に重要であるということです。

日本にも器用貧乏ということばがあり、同じ意味を持っています。

古今東西、あまりあれこれやろうとすると、結局は虻蜂取らずになるという戒めのようなものですね。

 

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