Feeling the sting of human behavior

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I’m not sure if many of you have read or been told the story of the scorpion and the turtle or frog in some stories.  I’ve heard the story in various ways with the cast of animals swapped in and out, but generally it’s a classic for reflection on human behavior and inherent vicious natures that cannot change. We all feel the sting, and living with my condition I feel I’m constantly both characters. Nevertheless, I wanted to share and pass along the story. It’s a story that’s been heavy on my mind as i’ve read through the diversity of the blogs here on wordpress. So here you go, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. “Are you Scorpion mad?” exclaimed the turtle. “You’ll sting me while I’m swimming and I’ll drown.”

“My dear turtle,” laughed the scorpion, “if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?”

“You’re right!” cried the turtle. “Hop on!” The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said:

“Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there’d be no logic in your stinging me. Why did you do it?”

“It has nothing to do with logic,” the drowning scorpion sadly replied. “It’s just my character.”
[Braude, 1965]

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