The Archetypes Story

Why Feet, Hands, Brain, Heart and Face?

There’s an old story — Peter’s version came from his Mother, who told it in Lithuanian, as a Lithuanian folk tale….

The Great Hero rested after another bout against the enemy. As he slept, his various body parts discussed their importance in making the Great Hero…

Feet

The Feet started off with: “I’m the part that makes the real difference. I take him from one place to the next, and on the battle field, it’s me who allows him to move swiftly and do the great dancing that can make him effective with sword and axe. It’s me, the Feet, who give him the balance. Without me, he’d just be an ordinary man!”

“No! No!” the Hands said. “I wield the sword and axe, let them flow in the right sequence. Without me,

Hands

he’d just be ordinary. As for getting from place to place, Feet, I can support his weight, and do everything you do. Maybe not as well, but I still would get him where he’s needed. And, worst coming to worst, I can build something to replace you. So, I’m the secret to his success!”

Brain

“Ha!” sneered the Brain. “Without me, Hands and Feet would be useless. I do the learning of skills and knowledge that allow you to be as good as you are. I coordinate knowledge and information; I make the detailed decisions that make us the Great Hero! Without me, you’d all just sit there and do nothing. I’m the most important part. Just try and get anywhere without my processing of everything!”

The Heart laughed at the Brain, Hands and Feet. “I’m the energizer. I give you the blood that feds you, that gives you the energy to do your thing. I feel your pains. I give you the passion to be as good as you are in all the things you can do, Without me, Brain would soon forget everything he knows, Hands and Feet would lose their abilities. There’s no way any of you would work, if not for me!”

“Yeah, yeah,” the Face sniffed. “But without me, you’d all be invisible. No one would pay attention to you. Any of you. You’d all be forgotten if I was not there! So, forget about your being the most important. It’s ME that makes the Great Hero so great. It’s ME that accepts the accolades and I’m the part that the enemy fears and respects. Without me, the enemy would just trample you all into the ground. You’re all minor aspects, but I’m the real part that gets all that the rest of you need!”

They argued for hours, and then came the sound of trumpets and drums — the enemy was attacking again. But the Great hero could not rise to face them. The Feet refused to move unless the other parts recognised his superiority. The Hands refused to grab the sword and axe unless the other four swore that he was the part that mattered most. The Brain would not allow information and skills to flow. The Heart turned away from the danger, demanding his own importance be recognised. The Face Yawned; no way he would make the Hero’s presence be a part of the battle.

Then the enemy was all around him, the battle just about lost. The Parts saw that in seconds, none of them would ever again be viewed as the Great Hero.

And so, the Parts had to make a choice:

Which choice did they make?

Did they ignore their differences, and turn on the enemy, or did they die there and then?

Survival or not, we are like the Feet, Hands, Brain, Heart and Face of the story. We can choose to use all our parts, or to concentrate on some lesser combination. There are times when one part may be more appropriate than the others, but we all have to make the choice about which part we use or whether we use all of them to get the best results in whatever situation we find ourselves in.