Is it the Nature of the Beast? Mid-Afternoon Mental Moment

Wednesday;s Child is full of woe, character, nature, nurture

Are there any Songs about Wednesday?

There are poems I know, that mention Wednesday, one that comes to mind is a nursery rhyme;

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of Grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of Woe…

Woe?

English: A British Riding Pony gelding named P...

WOE… not WHOA…  wow..  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Man,  Wednesday’s child got a crappy deal if you ask me….  I mean going by the suggestion of character in the poem.

I am a Wednesday’s child.  I guess whether I am full of woe depends on how you define or consider woe.

And how much weight you give to a nursery rhyme’s author as to the amount of research done before coming to such a conclusion.  I think it just rhymed.

No, that isn’t just because I am a Wednesday Child and refuse to think I am full of woe…  more like WOW..  I think that’ what the author meant anyways.

Just my opinion.  Cracked as it may be.

Today’s Mental Moment

is about character.    Nature, nurture and whether people can change.

Have you ever heard the tale of the frog and the scorpion?  It’s an olde but goody and has several variations.  I have heard it as the fox and the scorpion, the toad and the scorpion, the duck and the scorpion, the cock and the monkey, the monkey and the ape….

ok I made the last 2 up.  I am just playing.

Drawing of the Nursery Rhyme "There was a...

“There was an Old Woman who lived in a shoe”  ummm wrong Mental Moment that;s next week. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, the story goes that a scorpion wanted to cross a river and asked a frog to kindly give him a lift.  The frog at first said no way I don;t trust you, you will sting me and I will drown.  The scorpion tells the frog that doesn;t make sense for if  he were to sting the frog, then he too would drown.

The frog thinks about it for a minute and deciding that it made sense and told the scorpion to hop on his back.  s they crossed the river the scorpion became ever more agitated and finally a little past the halfway mark, he stung the frog.

The frog was stunned and as he and the scorpion both sank into the water and started to drown, the frog asked the scorpion why he ad done such a thing knowing he would also be killed.  And the scorpion replied that he could not help himself, it was his character, the nature of he beast.

In the end the scorpion did exactly what the frog first thought he would do.  So why did the frog give in and take him over?  The scorpion made a good argument that if in fact he stung the frog, he too would drown, but bottom line is the frog knew what the scorpion was capable of his gut told him to say no, yet he ended up giving the scorpion a chance.

When I first heard this story as a child, I was rooting for the scorpion, or for the frog, depending how you want to see it, all the way across the river.  I wanted the scorpion to not sting the frog.  I wanted them both to get there safely and everything be fine.

I believe that the character of mankind is good.  That left to our own devices and reflection, it is in our nature to do good things, not bad.  That we will look out for our fellow-man and support the endeavors of another.  That it is programmed in us to help, rather than hurt.

Of course over my lifetime I have met people who do bad things, or who are selfish and uncaring, who will take advantage without blinking an eye.  I have been exposed to evil and victim to unscrupulous actions from individuals with little to no remorse.

I have met people who have a history of doing things that I don;t think are nice, yet I do not judge them or turn away from them for the things that happened in the past.  I despise stereotypes, and generalizations and think it completely unfair to assume that because they behaved that way before, they will again.

And of course, that makes me the frog, or fox, or monkey, or toad.  The one who overlooks the things that point to an outcome that is different then what history shows to be the most likely end.

Consider This: 

Humans have something that animals, scorpions and toads and monkeys et all, etc don’t have.  The ability to think things through and to change something with a concentrated power of will.

It to me is a difference of whether you live on autopilot, or choose a path of self-awareness and are completely honest with yourself and are accountable for who you are.

There are some things that are the nature of the beast that we can not , no matter how hard or how much we try or how badly we want to will away.  But there are others that if we want to not be the beast, we can.

It may not be a question of changing our nature but our behavior.

Even if we change the behavior, that doesn’t mean we don’t still feel drawn to that particular way of being,  Take for example and introvert or an extrovert.  By nature they are either loners or people oriented, they can condition themselves to be ok in the opposite situation but they may still feel drawn toward their particular nature.  They in fact,  no matter how they change their behavior will restore themselves through going with their nature.

In the story it is the frog who points out the scorpion’s nature.  By countering the frog’s assessment with the practical reasoning, the scorpion does not address his nature, he does not admit that he is programmed to sting anything he comes in contact with, he merely states that it doesn’t make sense because he would die too.  He understands that his behavior is not reasonable in this situation.

And of course they have the awareness to have this conversation, or any conversation at all because they are just metaphors for life and people.

I mean c’mon, frogs and scorpions have totally different languages, there is no way they could have had that conversation.      🙄

Another thing to consider is which is stronger?  Logic or the nature of things.  The frog was right there was no practical sense to the scorpion stinging him.  The scorpion just shrugged it off saying basically, it is what it is.

I think the scorpion, with a good 12 step program or good reconditioning (think Pavlov’s dogs)  might have overcome the urge to sting.  Too bad he drowned, I highly doubt we will find another scorpion that was aware of his nature as much as that one was.

Of course if one were to come to me and say he is that one special scorpion, I would probably believe him.

It’s in my nature.

A little fun moment from the movie Skin Deep.  There is some strong language so if you are offended by that sort of thing, you know in advance.  Pay attention in the end when the doctor tells him what he will do because it is his nature / character and what his response is.  Do you think they are the same just with different words?  Or that having been told what his nature is, he tries to change it?

What are the things that you do, the ways you behave, that you feel compelled to, no matter of your desire to change?    If you change the way you behave, do you find it uncomfortable as if your nature is pulling you to do something else?

Enjoy!

To your Mental State, Whatever it May be…

Lizzie Cracked`

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18 responses to “Is it the Nature of the Beast? Mid-Afternoon Mental Moment

  1. I have always hated confrontations that end up with members of the family becoming upset or angry with one another and so I have always tried to ‘make’..I’d like to say ‘help’ but others would say ‘make’…them try to understand each point of view and get them to ‘kiss and make up’ ….I should say that I used to do that because I’m now trying not to as I was the one who ended up the most upset and I finally realized that I couldn’t do it anymore. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t trouble me, because it does but in effect I’m trying to control my ‘nature’….Diane

    • I understand that conpletely.. I too hate conrontation and I have a hard time not taking responsibility for someones anger even if I have nothing at all to do with it.. and I try to keep everyone happy too… but that never works so.. I work through the anger part and even though I can see logically and rationally it isn’t my issue and I react accordingly.. I want to be apologetic and stuff…see its good to be aware of these things don;t you think?

      • Yes I do…because if we take too much on to ourselves when we shouldn’t be it affects us in a really negative way…but realizing I tend to do this …now I watch and try not to get involved but to wait anxiously for things to get settled…..Diane

  2. I think the scorpion was a narcissist. He didn’t really answer the frogs question, he put up a smoke screen of logic and the frog fell for it (just like I would have) but actually now that I have thought about it for a minute the scorpion wasn’t as smart as most narcissists. A true narcissist would have waited until they were almost to shore and then stung the frog hopped off the frog, laughed and said, “Thanks for the ride sucker!” Then he would have gone around telling all the other frogs, toads, monkeys and apes how ungrateful and selfish the frog was and that he had to kill him because he was so stupid to think he wouldn’t sting him he deserved to die. In fact he went back later and made sure the frog was dead.
    And no I don’t think the scorpion can change, he will pretend he’s changed the next time he wants to cross the river but he will sting again!

    • Haha Carrie you totally got it.. I was thinking of the narcissist angle too ..especially when I was doing the different variations… the narcissit and what? fresh meat? not a smart narcissist indeed.. they don;t exist… at least not according to them ..;-) I have reading your posts just didn;t get a chance to comment .. but I am so glad to see you here 🙂

  3. Great post. I think many of us are the type to try to see the best in others, and get screwed when we don’t listen to our gut. That’s my take home from the fable anyhow. Ribbit.

    On another note: as another Wednesday’s child – I just figured the nursery rhyme spelled it wrong. I’m full of ‘whoa’, just ask my horses. 😉

    • OH darn it! I need to change the caption its Whoa not Woe.. and can be also written as wow.. cause they make more sense.. ask the Wednesday kids right? ‘-) Good to see you 🙂

  4. I think it’s important to work with what we have and not to expect too much from people. They ‘re only human after all! At least some of them are! 🙂

    • I KNEW it some people are Aliens right? wow that clears up A LOT!
      why did I have to approve this message… ??? I ‘m Lizzie and I approved this message. and I ‘m human and that;s my cyber Mom so don;t be stopping these messages.. its a conspiracy,, they don;t want you to spread the word..

  5. I tried to be Martha Stewart for a year, and constantly felt like I was fighting the “other” part of myself. Ended up hypomanic, drinking and doing drugs, having sex on the bathroom floor of CVS, among other places, and spending every dime I had. At the time, I thought I was appeasing that “other” side. Indeed. I just didn’t know that the “other side” was mental illness.

    • oh yes I tried to be Betty Crocker.. for real.. or maybe it was more like SUsie Homemaker.. before Martha was big I guess… it didn;t work out so well either. I was pr3ty tough on myself that I couldn;t seem to pull it together.. and lo and behold… I ma thinking Martha Stewart ..anything should have a disclaimer… don;t try this at home 😉

  6. This was absolutely dead on in its insight Lizzie! I think I have lived far to long to always see the best in all people, though I try most of the time I tend to trust my instincts.

    • we get to the point where we can not imagine things without doubt…. life teaches us that we can;t just believe what we see and hear, even if we may want to with all our being, children can do it because they haven;t learned. I have learned, I just want to believe in that childlike state but as time goes on, even if I give the chance, I doubt the outcome will be as I wish…. I will never be able to look at the scorpian without some doubt going through my mind… and that sucks that it is disappointment that has led us to that.

  7. The scorpion was indeed true to itself, to the point of self-destruction and yet lacked the foresight to carry out a more devious plan, and sting the frog upon arrival at the other bank.
    And speaking of banks the current situation regarding the housing market is much like this tale..The frogs(bankers) gave mortgages to people(scorpions) that they knew would not be able to afford, and they got stung..Now the taxpayer(the ants) are stuck with the clean-up, and any residual medical bills.
    Wow that went a lot further than originally intended. LOL

    • the fact that the scorpian did it and caused his own destruction s well… would make one think that his actions were not malicious… just instinct… I guess…

      I think the people were the frogs and the banks were the scorpions… ok ..well ..I dunno

  8. Pingback: It’s all up to you, Mid-Afternoon Mental Moment | Running Naked With Scissors·

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