Recently, while grieving over Ukraine and its people, I was reminded of the story of the frog and the scorpion.
You’ll recall the frog and the scorpion met at the edge of the river. The scorpion asked the frog if he could ride on his back across the river. The frog said – but you might sting me, and I’ll die. Scorpion replied but I cannot swim. If you drown, we will both die. Off they go across the river. Before they reach the shore, the frog feels a sting. What happened? Why did you do that? The scorpion replied, I’m a scorpion – I sting. That’s what I do.
A leopard can’t change its spots. A scorpion can’t change its sting. It’s their nature. Humans have a different makeup. We can become better or worse. We can change our destiny. Some choose not to. Why? We recognize the symptoms and possible cures. Perhaps the problem seems too difficult. Maybe we’ve let wounds fester until they appear impossible to heal.
Poor Richards Almanac gives us a simple analogy: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Like all diseases and injustices, the sooner a malignancy, no matter how small, is recognized and acknowledged the better the likelihood of a good outcome. It’s never too late.
# # #