One of the most horrifying stories in all of literature is Aesop's "The Tortoise and the Hare." I take this fable very, very seriously. Thinking about it fills me with painful recollections of past defeats and humiliations. I've been beaten many times by tortoises and I know from first hand experience what powerful competitors they are.
For one thing tortoises exist in daunting numbers and often share common values and goals. Hares are fewer and tend to be loners. At the outset of the race hares run roughshod over the sluggish competition only to find themselves in mid-race mired in the mud with few allies or sympathetic friends to help. It's very scary!
Obviously I sometimes picture myself as the hare in the story but I'm not bringing this up to indulge in self-pity. What I really want to do is acknowledge that tortoises are not always the boobs that hares think they are. Whenever I get to thinking about this I remember the stories about common heroism in WW2 when ordinary sailors would run through oil fires to save their buddies on the other side. I think about parents who make enormous sacrifices for their kids or a whole society that changed its mind about race prejudice in just acouple of generations just because it was the right thing to do. No doubt about it, tortoises are often good people... when they're not being an obstacle to progress.