The Frog and the Scorpion

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The Frog and the Scorpion is a fable that teaches that most people cannot resist hurting others even though it is not in their own self-interest. The fable is one of my favorite stories of all time as it teaches about human nature. The human mind is dark and evil. We act in our best interest and sometimes we do act in ways that are not in our own best interest.

In his book, First Break All The Rules, British author and business consultant, Marcus Buckingham writes about the parable of the scorpion and the frog:

There once lived a scorpion and a frog.

The scorpion wanted to cross the pond, but, being a scorpion, he couldn’t swim. So he scuttled up to the frog and asked: “Please, Mr. Frog, can you carry me across the pond on your back?”

“I would,” replied the frog, “but, under the circumstances, I must refuse. You might sting me as I swim across.”

“But why would I do that?” asked the scorpion. “It is not in my interests to sting you, because you will die and then I will drown.”

Although the frog knew how lethal scorpions were, the logic proved quite persuasive. Perhaps, felt the frog, in this one instance the scorpion would keep his tail in check. So the frog agreed. The scorpion climbed onto his back, and together they set off across the pond. Just as they reached the middle of the pond, the scorpion twitched his tail and stung the frog. Mortally wounded, the frog cried out:

“Why did you sting me?

It is not in your interests to sting me, because now I will die and you will drown.”

“I know,” replied the scorpion as he sank into the pond. “But I am a scorpion. I have to sting you. It’s in my nature.

We naturally want to help people but most times people are always looking out for their own self-interest. Most of the time, a liar would always be a liar, a person without integrity would sooner than later show their true nature. It is human nature to want to give people the benefit of doubt but what have come to discover with my brief stay here on earth is:

When you give people the benefit of doubt all the time, they get the benefit and you get the doubt.

People would show you who they are eventually and they would show their true color even though they try to hide it in the beginning. Like the frog in the story, we all fall for the empathy trap and most times get hurt in the process. The frog did not think the scorpion would sting him cos they are both going to drown. There are evil people in the world, sociopaths, psychopaths, malignant narcissists, and personality-disordered individuals. Liars lie, cheaters cheat, gossipers gossip, evil people do evil things and we act on our base instincts most of the time.

The Moral of the Story: Trust your instincts, Love is behavior not what people say.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile

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