The wooden sculpture that Barack Obama has brought into the Oval Office combines African tribal tradition with a poignant message. Obtained on a 2006 visit to his ancestral Kenya, the “Egg of Power” symbolizes the fragility of chiefly power: According to an ancient proverb, power is like an egg; if it’s held too tightly, it breaks, and if it’s held too loosely, it will slip from grasp.
Oh, cool, ancient wisdom. Umm, but something seems a little off with that folk-nugget, yes? Not to nit pick, but isn't it sort of completely wrong?:
In fact, it's pretty hard to crush an egg. Maybe the old African proverb was about asserting things that sound like they should be true, getting people to believe in them, and then making a wood carving to commemorate the deception. In which case, I'd say it's the right carving for the right man. 100%
***update carving, Got yer nose:
Which is taken from the African proverb of the chief who rules by gotcher-nose: which is played somewhat differently in Kenya, in that actual machetes are used. Gotcher-nose, gotcher-hand, gotcher-leg, whoops, gotcher-head....
And it might just be me, but is anyone else disconcerted by the thought that the leader of the country that pioneered modern democracy might look to an African proverb for wisdom on how to run a country? Or do I make too much of it? Is this like Hillary's "it takes a village to raise a child" (which no, by the way, it doesn't, it takes a parent willing to fight and die for that child), i.e. just words that sound good, but don't bear much thinking about?