Saint and the scorpion

They say that you must not give up even after trying a hundred times. Who knows? Maybe the 101st try might actually be the lucky one. But for some things, I feel that maybe giving up is the better option. Trying only makes it hurt all the more; and every time you fail it’s just another thorn in your foot. It is true that Jesus bore a crown of thorns but for us mortals is that even an option? One perfectly formed tear-drop of ruby red on the fingertips can cause endless amount of fussing. No, I for one cannot relive the hurt over and over again. Can you?

Well, it depends totally on what I am talking about – or so I assume you might say. What if it is trying to mend a bridge that you never broke? Or to heal a relation that was sour from the get-go? How about if you’ve been on your best behaviour throughout and yet keep being classified as the bad sheep? What if you’re constantly seeking approval from someone who is hellbent on despising you for everything you do? I am sure you can come up with a long list of similar useless activities that we spend a large chunk of our time obsessing over. Now you know what I am talking about so what would be your choice?

It would be a mark of spiritual evolution to say that I would continue trying to do my bit without worry too much about the outcome. Let me explain this a bit more. Once there was a saint walking by near a river. He saw a scorpion fall off a branch of a tree and into the river. The little vicious thing couldn’t find anything to hold on to and would be either drowned or carried away by the currents. The saint stooped down and picked it up in his cupped hands. What did he get as a reward? A sting. He dropped it in pain; and then bent to pick it up again! This continued for a few times till finally he was able to put the scorpion on safe lands once again. When asked by a disciple he said that the scorpion was doing what it knows best (attack) while he was doing what he knows best (helping). I have always found this story very inspirational but highly impractical as well. Some people know only how to sting and the more you help the more vicious they get. So what do you do? Keep helping?

Maybe I have been moved too deeply by this childhood story because I find that no matter how much I crib about the situation or firmly resolve to behave differently, I end up being a sucker every time. Cry me a river and I will flow in your pain while you sit nested safely by your bonfire. Yes, that’s me. Gullible, naive and incredibly stupid. Of course it hurts every time someone tries to and succeeds in taking advantage of my nature but does it mean I have learnt my lesson and changed? Thank God, no! I am still me hoping to become a saint by emulating his teachings. I sincerely pray that no matter how bad the situation gets I don’t change this aspect of myself. I will keep doing what is my true nature and maybe one day the scorpion will stop stinging.


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