Cast Aside Artwork And Inspiration
My daughter left her art project right where she had been working on it last night – spread out in the middle of the living room floor. It reminded me of the fable, The Scorpion and the Frog – or in this case, the snake and the frog 😉
Fact or Fable
Do you know the old fable of The Scorpion And The Frog? It’s my husband’s favorite. The brief Wikipedia synopsis is: A scorpion, which cannot swim, asks a frog to carry it across a river on the frog’s back. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the scorpion, but the scorpion argues that they would both drown if it did that. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”
We were dating when he told me the story. I remember thinking it was awful and stupid – he thought it perfectly summed up human nature. Sometimes people will give in to their nature even if it kills them and often if it hurts them.
Limiting Our Own Options
I thought about that this morning as I woke up to a country still trying to figure out who would be the next president. As a country, I wondered why we keep allowing other entities to prop up two bad choices for us and tell us that these are the only ones we can choose from. I wondered why the choice always seems to be the lesser of two evils. I wondered why we have allowed arbitrary rules to Pidgeon-hole us about who can be present on debate stages, who can get news time, and who can be considered a viable candidate. We have allowed our pool to be limited to two parties. We are not demanding better options.
Every four years, we vote to put someone in office who promises us the world and rarely delivers. More often – they feed their own nature, fill their own pockets, help their own friends, and leave the little guys to fend for themselves. We frogs keep carrying the scorpions. Only, in our story, the scorpion has a golden parachute, and the frog just drowns.
In a 1964 speech, Malcolm X said, “They’ve been down there four years. And they’re – all other legislation they wanted to bring up they’ve brought it up, and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now they bring up you! You put them first, and they put you last.” It seems to me, the same is true 50 some-odd years later. We keep propping up government officials that are not helping the people how they need to be helped.
Rather than discussing the nation’s physical, mental, financial, and emotional health, we have leaders who equate the “health” of the country with the success of the stock market. The truth is that while about half of American households hold some form of stock – the top 10% of households hold 84% of the total stock value. That means that the remaining 40% of stock holding family share only 16% of stock value, and 50% have no stocks at all. How is that an accurate measure of the “health” of a country?
The research is there. The evidence is in the food banks, the soup kitchens, and the struggle at the supermarket cash register. American people are struggling across the board. What we have been doing isn’t working for us. Yet, just like the frog, we keep letting the scorpions hop on while we struggle through the rushing raging waters carrying them on our backs only to have them send us to the bottom as thanks. As we usher in the next four years of the presidency, we must remember to demand that the government works for us – the people. No passes.