Scorpion, Frog, Jordan, Maslow, Market


Posted on December 5, 2008 by Blake Leath

Here's a fable you've read before... 

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back.  The frog asks, “How do I know you won't sting me?”

The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”  The frog is satisfied and they set out but, midstream, the scorpion stings the frog.

The frog – now paralyzed – starts to sink and gasps, “Why?”

The scorpion replies, “It's my nature.”1

...Michael Jordan, generally regarded as the finest basketball player to ever grace the court once commented, "Tough times don't build character; they  R E V E A L  it." 

...Lately, I hear and observe a lot of people who are very nervous, paranoid, panicky.  "Surely, the sky has fallen," they whisper.  And they call their bank, they pat down their pockets, they prepare for the worst.

...For 18 years, Abraham Maslow researched, wrote, and taught at Brandeis University.  At the beginning and end of each semester, he would challenge his students by asking the simple questions, "If not you, then who?  If not now, when?"

I am reminded tonight of how we become self-fulfilling prophecies.  The scorpion stings; difficulties REVEAL character; Chicken Littles abound with their doomsday'ing.

But Maslow challenged eager / young minds to BE the answer... rather than WAIT for it.

Years from now, when 'the current' is 'history,' I wonder what others will write and say about us.  About our times.  About our generation(s).

Did we worry and fret and PULL THE SKY DOWNWARD UPON OURSELVES, or did we RISE TO THE OCCASION and IMPROVE OUR TIMES for all time?

Please, please, please -- do not succumb to the hysteria that grips too many; to those who permit themselves to become driftwood circling in the commode.  Victims of circumstance.  Instead, as Gandhi encouraged, we must "be the change we wish to see in the world."

The choices are ours to collectively make... we can either will ourselves into failure and despair, or we can work ourselves out of it and begin co-authoring the future together.

Ask deep questions, surround yourself with solutions, and you will attract hope and victories.

Worry, blame, fret, complain, curl into a fetal position... and we could very well reap a maelstrom that absorbs all our energies into itself.  A black hole unparalleled in the history of humankind.

Times are tough; yes indeedy.  But the sky remains fixed in the heavens.  Do not succumb to the hyperbolic myths, lest ye wish them to come true. 


"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic."

                                                                                                John F. Kennedy



1Though sometimes attributed to Aesop, The Frog and the Scorpion is essentially a derivative of Aesop’s The Frog and the Mouse.