The Scorpion and the Frog… and You

On a cold winter afternoon, the rain swelled the banks of the river. Within less than an hour the water began to churn, and the banks were overflowing. These are the very banks that frogs and scorpions traversed for thousands of years.

Hundreds of scorpions were killed within hours. Even frogs had to be careful. The waters continued to rise.

“Mr. Scorpion, your kind have been tormenting and killing my kind for generations. Even last month your people killed one of my loved ones.”

At about that time, a young frog was struggling with the torrential currents. He came upon a drowning scorpion, approximately his same age. In fact, they recognized each other. For a brief moment, they found comfort in their gaze. That comfort dissipated. The scorpion was drowning. He was dying. The frog was abandoning him, because he was a scorpion.

The scorpion appealed to the frog, “Mr. Frog. Please help me. I am dying unless you offer me your kindness. Just give me a ride to yonder bank, only 100 yards away.” The scorpion submerged under a wave. He bobbed back up gasping for air. “I will be forever grateful.”

As the frog got close to the bank, he saw the scorpion 150 feet back in the white water, dying. The scorpion said to the frog, “Mr. Frog, if you leave me here, you will kill me.”

The frog was torn. As a frog, he did not desire to kill anyone. Nonetheless, he was scared by his wisdoms of years and maturity. Even as a young frog, he knew the pitfalls of scorpions.

At that very moment, the swells of the waves peaked. The scorpion was literally pulled to the bottom of the river. The frog passed safely by. As the frog approached the bank, he saw, behind him, the scorpion submerge with panic in his eyes, and the scorpion pleaded one last time, “Mr. Frog, please save me. We can start a new chapter with our people…” and then the scorpion disappeared.

The frog felt so good about what he did. He saved Mr. Scorpion.

As the frog got close to the bank, he saw the scorpion 150 feet back in the white water, dying. The scorpion said to the frog, “Mr. Frog, if you leave me here, you kill me. Mr. Frog, think about it. Why would I hurt you if you save me?”

The frog turned around and saved the scorpion just before he drowned. The frog swam to the scorpion, put him on his back, and began swimming to saftey.

The Scorpion and The Frog is so much more than a fable. Life pits good versus evil. There is no sideline.

A few moments later, the currents and the waters continued to roar. The frog swam feverishly. They were both in danger now. With the weight of the nearly drowned scorpion, the frog had to give it all he had to reach the bank. After about several minutes of tricky paddling, the frog was in safe proximity of the bank, scorpion in tow.

The frog felt so good about what he did. He saved Mr. Scorpion.

As the frog and scorpion traversed those treacherous waters together, they shared stories. Shared memories. Shared geography. The frog felt he had defied the fate of his forefathers.

Mr. frog felt a paralyzing, hot, terrifying sting in his back.

As the frog, and his newfound friend, the scorpion, approached 150 feet of the bank, the frog felt a paralyzing, hot, terrifying sting in his back. Mr. Frog began to sink, paralyzed, with the scorpion on his back. Their collective fates fatally doomed. He looked out of his left eye into the right eye of the scorpion. The scorpion’s eye was smiling. The frog’s eye was dying.

“Mr. Scorpion, how could you kill me? Now we both die. You killed us both? I saved you. You were going to die anyway. Why would you ask me to save you, only to kill us both?”

The scorpion, happy in his demise, said to the frog, “Mr. Frog, I am a scorpion. It is in my nature to kill frogs.”

What is the morale of this story? I have been sharing this story for over 30 years. In a nutshell, one can trust a person to be true to his or her nature. One cannot trust a person to defy his or her nature.

The scorpion and the frog are true to their nature, even to their own demise

Here are three (3) themes in the Scorpion and Frog story:

1. We do not change another person’s nature. Our own efforts, desires and wishes do not change the nature of others. “Trust” is not a passive and helpless wish. So You Say, “I Do Not Trust That Guy”… Well, Do You Know Him?

2. Protection of the herd from the threats of nature fall upon the strong. We must teach strength and leadership. If you are the last good guy in the room… never surrender your gun!

3. Company culture is incredible! Build the frog pond. Identify and remove the scorpions (cobras). King Cobra In the Baby Crib – Are You Protecting the Baby or the Cobra?

The Scorpion and The Frog is so much more than a fable. It supersedes politics and prejudice. Life will force a battle between good and evil. There is no sideline. The scorpion and the frog are true to their nature, even to their own demise. The nature of the frog is to trust scorpions in hopes of saving them, or maybe in hopes of them changing. The nature of the scorpion is to kill frogs.

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