you have heard this story about a frog and a scorpion:
a frog was sitting happily by the side of the river when a
scorpion came along.
Mr. Frog," said the scorpion, "I need to get to the
other side of the river to be with my family. Will you
please carry me across?"
Mr. Scorpion, if I do that, then you will sting me!"
replied the frog, somewhat aghast at the request.
I won't," said the scorpion.
you promise?" asked a rather doubtful frog.
really promise--I will not sting you," said the scorpion.
you really, really promise?" asked a still-dubious frog.
I really promise," replied the scorpion, very
the frog said reluctantly. "Hop on."
scorpion climbed on top of the frog's back and they set
off. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the
horror, the frog, unable to continue swimming and
with both of them about to drown, finally managed to
gasp, "Please, Mr. Scorpion, just tell me one
thing before we both go under. Just tell me
why, when you promised you would not, why, oh why
did you sting me?"
it is my nature," replied the scorpion.
no intention of being derogatory to scorpions, this
story shows how the nature of the scorpion appears
unchangeable and fixed. It has no choice
regarding its behavior because it is a scorpion;
that is simply the way it is.
most of us think we are just the same. We
think we cannot change, that we are the way we are
and that's that--this is who I am and I cannot
change and I won't change! But where a
scorpion is not necessarily able to act any
differently, we can. We do have choices.
We do not have to be the way we think we are; we can
actually be and act differently. In the
nineteenth century, philosopher William James said,
"The great revolution in our generation is the
discovery that human beings, by changing the inner
attitudes of their minds, can change the outer
aspects of their lives."
we do so long for change, to be different, to be
healthier or happier than we are--the grass always
seems to be so much greener elsewhere. Or we
want to change the world so that women are not
abused and there is less violence and poverty. . . .
can appear relatively simple to make changes in the
world, while making changes in our own lives can
seem far more overwhelming. It takes courage
to move from a familiar and known place to one that
is different or without reference points, as it
means stepping outside of our usual comfort zone.
what is it that stops us from changing? What
keeps us locked in ourselves, stuck in
small-mindedness, thinking our view is the only view
that matters? Invariably, it is the ego, the
most talked-about yet least understood of our human
features. The ego gives us a strong sense of
ourselves; it is the "me" part. This
is neither good nor bad, except when
self-centeredness dominates our thoughts, feelings,
and perceptions of life. A positive sense of
self gives us confidence and purpose, but a more
negative and selfish aspect of the ego makes us
unconcerned with other people's feelings; it thrives
on the idea of me-first and impels us to cry out,
"What about me? What about my
is now enjoying a
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examines the transformations wrought
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extraordinary luminaries, interwoven with text
winning authors Ed and Deb Shapiro.
The words of these spiritual leaders
from all disciplines and walks of life
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