Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ethics for Activists - 12

Once there was an old man who meditated every morning under a large tree on the bank of the Ganges. One morning the old man opened his eyes after his meditation to see a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion passed the man under the tree it grabbed hold of a thin strand of root that floated in the water. The scorpion struggled to pull itself along the root but the river current was too strong and the old man could see that the scorpion would soon be pulled back into the water. The old man reached for the scorpion. But as soon as his hand was within reach, the scorpion’s tale whipped over its body and stung him. The man jerked back his hand, balanced himself, and again reached out for the scorpion. But every time he came within reach, the scorpion stung him. His hands swelled up and his face distorted with pain. Just then, a woman walking by saw the old man trying to rescue the scorpion and she shouted, "Hey, old man, only a fool risks his life for the sake of such a useless and thankless creature. And it looks like it’s doing it’s best to kill you?" The old man looked calmly at the woman and said, "Friend, because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting, should I give up my own nature to save?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this...a good answer to the "scorpion and the frog" parable.