Tail of a Dragon or Head of a Snake?

This is a phrase that is commonly used in Korea. Would you rather be the tail of a dragon or the head of a snake? A dragon is a grand creature and a snake is a lesser, smaller one. This question implies whether you would rather be the one of the normal or lesser people of a high, esteemed community or the top person of a small, less popular community.

 OMGVIS0907-4     Take Steve Kim, a renowned entrepreneur (called the “top CEO of Asia”), for instance. When he came to my Korean high school to give us a talk about his life and achievements, he said that when he was young, he left a huge, well-known company (where he was just a fish in the sea) in favor of a smaller company (where he became the most valuable employee). He said that was one of the best decisions he had made; it promoted him to be one of the highest ranking employee in the company, enabling him to lots of freedom and power. His rank and power inside the company was how he earned so much knowledge and information from the upper level of an enterprise (including a high pay raise), allowing him to later quit the company and make his own (which became extremely successful). He is the typical example of the influential head of a snake.
However, that doesn’t mean that the tail of a dragon isn’t as good as the head of a snake.beowulf-dragontail For example, when I went to the ESU English Speaking Competition Finals, I met a lot of students around my age who were extremely talented in both English and public speaking. I was literally the “tail of a dragon” there, for it was my first time participating in a speech competition while the kid next to me had won a previous competition in middle school. Despite being an “amateur,” I learned a lot while observing other students about prose, logic, posture, tone, and most importantly, confidence. This valuable experience has helped me lots in public speaking since that day.
The tail of a dragon and the head of a snake have their own problems too. As the tail of a dragon, you may not be able to be a shining light and grow as big as you hoped, although there is a possibility that you could. You may be overshadowed by many people who seem to shine brighter than you, burying you and making you unable to find your true potential. On the other hand, as the head of a snake, you may easily become too prideful and become the “frog in the well” (which means that your view of the whole world becomes limited to a small portion). You may be the best in your community, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to drastically improve due to the fewer opportunities.
Each choice has its pros and cons. I guess I’ll have to spend more time thinking which one is right for me. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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