The person who tries to be both the head and the tail will never rest. (El que hace de cabeza de cola nunca descansa).
In our society today, where competition and individual enterprise are valued so highly, many people like to think that they were born to be "heads" and not "tails." But society can't be made up only of heads. The tail has a function, too. Think about animals with tails. Some animals use the tail to maintain balance. Others use it to brush away flies and other biting insects. Some have prehensile tails that allow them to hang from tree branches or to grasp things. The scorpion uses its tail for self-defense and as a weapon to attack. The peacock's colorful tail gives it a unique identity and is useful for attracting a mate. Fish use their tails to navigate through water. When a fox curls into a ball, its fluffy tail becomes a warm cover for the face. An alligator uses its tail to store fat. And, many animals like dogs and cats, use their tails to communicate emotions. The neurotransmitters that send messages from the brain to the tail and other body parts allow the animal to function optimally so each part of the body works in unison. The head needs the rest of the body, including the tail, to make the animal whole.
The Importance of Understanding Your Role
Some heads mistakenly think they have to do everything themselves because no one else can do things as well as they can. They may have the talent, the ambition, the energy and drive to do everything well, but a human being can only do so much without breaking down or wearing out. Overwork and exhaustion can lead to physical problems as well as emotional ones. The proverb reminds us that we can't do everything on our own. Some tasks are too big for one person, but perhaps even more importantly, as human beings, we're social beings and we need to know how to behave in a group. No one lives in total isolation. Sooner or later, in one setting or another, we have to interact with other people, and we need to understand and appreciate the ways we can work together. People who do the work of the head and the work of the tail, and all the work in between, will never rest. In addition, those people will probably be ineffective in some of the jobs they're doing because their attention is scattered, they lack focus, and they're overextended. The lack of balance in these people's lives deprives them of other experiences that could bring satisfaction and pleasure. They're never finished with work, because there's always more work to do.
Prevent or Diminish the Problem Before it Happens
Because the Letter of the Year comes with osborbo Ofo Lowe Arayé (loss due to conflicts and arguments), we can apply the proverbs in an effort to avoid or diminish the potential problems associated with arayé. Arayé comes from bickering, arguing, petty criticism, talking behind people's backs. It's the daily tension felt in groups that are dysfunctional or where individuals have problems setting clear boundaries for themselves within the group. Whether it's a loss of relationships, a loss of business, a loss of money, or a loss of home, if a loss comes for you in 2017, it will come as a result of conflicts caused by arayé. Nothing is written in stone, so you aren't necessarily going to experience loss if you take steps now to prevent it. Decide whether or not you're really meant to be the head, and if you are, how can you improve your leadership style? If you're meant to be in the tail, take pride in that role and don't feel you're a lesser person because of it. Know where you belong, and find the role that fits your nature, that allows you to be happy and productive without changing your fundamental character. Recognize the need for good communication and mutual respect, and don't try to do everything yourself. Set healthy boundaries, and stick to them.