Relationships can be tough to read sometimes. And people can even be tougher to read. So, how do you know when to trust someone or keep your defenses up? Perhaps this is an answer that can be discovered in the story of the frog and the scorpion.
There was once a frog sitting along the river bank getting ready to swim to the other side. Along came a scorpion who said he would love to get to the other side but that he cannot swim. The scorpion asked the frog if he could get on the frog’s back and then the frog could swim them both to the other side. The frog responded saying that scorpion would sting him half way across the river and he would die. The scorpion responded saying that if he stung the frog, not only would the frog die, he would die too. And that since he didn’t want to die today, the frog could trust the scorpion not to sting him. The frog agrees, the scorpion climbs on the his back, and they set out across the river. Half way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog being paralyzed, both starting to sink to their death, the frog asks why the scorpion would do that. The scorpion responded, “Because I am a scorpion.”
The scorpion represents our human compulsions and our inability to control them. The frog represents our trusting nature and desire to see the good in people. The problem is that sometimes you can be too trusting and give people the benefit of the doubt even when their very nature is self-serving. You need to be certain that you know the person at their very core and make good judgements based upon that.
When it comes to relationships, and especially with the people you love, you want to give them the benefit of the doubt. You want to see the best in them and hope they act with the purest of intentions. Too many times people are stung by those they love when their loved ones do not do what is expected of them. The drug addict who steals money, the parent who is obsessed with work rather than his family, and the friend who’s always looks out for themselves first…these are all people who have a stinger. The best you can do is wish for the best, but protect yourself. Imagine the worst outcome and protect yourself from that. If you can do that, you can take chances on the person. If you cannot survive the worst outcome, then it is time to step back and say no. We do want to look for the good in people, but we have to protect ourselves from the sting of disappointment.