The Reverend Fred Craddock, a remarkable preacher from Georgia, may have been imagining things –the way preachers are wont to do – but he says this story really happened.
Dr. Craddock was visiting in the home of his niece. There was this old greyhound dog there, just like the ones who race around a track chasing those mechanical rabbits. His niece had taken the dog in to prevent it from being destroyed because its racing days were over.
Dr. Craddock strikes up a conversation with the dog: “I said to the dog, ‘are you still racing?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘Well, what was the matter? Did you get too old to race?’ ‘No, I still had some race in me.’ ‘Well, what then? Did you not win?’ ‘I won over a million dollars for my owner.’
‘Well, what was it? Bad treatment?’ ‘Oh, no,’ the dog said, ‘They treated us royally when we were racing.’ ‘Did you get crippled?’ ‘No.'”
“Then why?” Craddock pressed, “Why?” The dog answered, “I quit.” “You quit?” “Yes,” he said, “I quit.”
“Why did you quit?” “I just quit. Because after all that running and running and running, I found out that the rabbit I was chasing wasn’t even real.”
On this day of celebration, achievement, and the commencement of a new phase in your lives, it takes considerable temerity for me to challenge you to consider what kind of rabbit you’ll choose to chase during your careers. I do so only because – this may surprise you – I challenge myself as to whether the rabbit I’ve been chasing all these long years is real.
John C. Bogle – American author and founder of The Vanguard Group and the world’s first index mutual fund (1929-2019)