One day a frog was sitting happily by the side of the river when a scorpion came along.
“Oh Mr. Frog,” said the scorpion, “I need to get to the other side of the river to be with my family. Will you please carry me across?”
“But Mr. Scorpion, if I do that, then you will sting me!” replied the frog, somewhat aghast at the request.
“No, I won’t,” said the scorpion.
“Do you promise?” asked a rather doubtful frog.
“I really promise! I will not sting you,” said the scorpion.
“Do you really, really promise?” asked a still-dubious frog.
“Yes, I really promise,” replied the scorpion, very sincerely.
“Okay,” the frog said reluctantly. “Hop on.”
The scorpion climbed on top of the frog’s back and they set off. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. In horror, the frog, unable to continue swimming and with both of them about to drown, finally managed to gasp, “Please, Mr. Scorpion, just tell me one thing before we both go under. Just tell me why, when you promised you would not, why oh why did you sting me?”
“Because it is my nature,” replied the scorpion.
Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process, he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl, and again the scorpion fell in the river. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?”
“Because,” the first monk replied, “my nature is to save.”
So, what is your nature? Are you a frog, a scorpion or a monk?
I am going to have to admit to being a monk. It harks back to a saying in our family, “Moms aren’t really very fond of pie…” which, is code for how mom is often the one who sacrifices for others, giving up what she wants so her family/child/husband can have what they want.
Recently I’ve managed to turn down “pie” three times: one involved a Costco card, one was an AAA card and another was the larger shower stall at the lodge…I just can’t help myself–it is my nature.