• The Parable of the Skipping Rope


    As of yesterday, I’m 30 years old. In my 31st year I plan on posting a bit more about atheism and skepticism than I have been doing, as I feel I’ve neglected those subjects a bit recently.

    Anyway, since this post is already slightly biographical, I’ll talk now about something that happened when I was about four – an event of almost no significance at all.


    The Parable of the Skipping Rope

    We (that is, the other kids and I) were playing in the playground, doing whatever we used to do. I remember running along near a friend who was deliberately dangling a skipping rope behind him. I thought stepping on the rope would be a good sort of action, and so I did so, without any intention of hurting anyone. Needless to say, to my horror, this caused my friend to fall over, graze his knee and start bawling his eyes out.

    Once the deed had been done I, like Raskolnikov (although innocent of malicious intent), fled the scene and tried to escape punishment. This proved difficult as I was the talk of the playground. Lots of kids were running up to Mr So-and-so (his name escapes me) to tell on me and before long my worst nightmare was confirmed: he ‘wanted to see me’. I kept hiding but eventually, after pressure from seemingly every one of my peers, life as a fugitive proved impossible and I was forced to turn myself in.

    Overcoming my dreadful paralysis I approached Mr So-and-so to discover my fate. The eyes of every kid in the playground were fixed on me, waiting eagerly to find out what was to become of me.

    The perceptive Mr So-and-so opened his mouth to speak:

    “It’s okay, don’t worry. It was an accident”.


    The Moral

    I suppose we can learn from this that by confronting your fears you might find out that there really was nothing to fear, putting your mind at ease.

    But perhaps I just got lucky. Most teachers would assume that I did it on purpose and punished me, since most of the other kids seemed to be baying for blood and their stories about what took place must have included some wrongdoing by myself.

    I don’t really know what the Parable of the Skipping Rope illustrates. Most likely, it’s just one of those times that an odd memory surfaces for no important reason, and you feel like telling others about it before you forget it again.


    Category: Miscellaneous

    Article by: Notung

    I started as a music student, studying at university and music college, and playing trombone for various orchestras. While at music college, I became interested in philosophy, and eventually went on to complete an MA in Philosophy in 2012. An atheist for as long as I could think for myself, a skeptic, and a political lefty, my main philosophical interests include epistemology, ethics, logic and the philosophy of religion. The purpose of Notung (named after the name of the sword in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen) is to concentrate on these issues, examining them as critically as possible.