Can we change our nature
by, 03-Oct-12 at 02:56 PM (11796 Views)
Watching recent developments around what is rather quaintly called "strike action" in our country, I couldn't help but think of the tale of the fox and the scorpion. For those that don't know it, it goes something like this:
I'm sure it doesn't take much pondering to see the story seems pretty apt. But have we learned anything from the lesson?A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly, he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river.
The fox said, "No. If I do that, you'll sting me, and I'll drown."
The scorpion assured him, "If I do that, we'll both drown."
The fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, "Why did you do that? Now you'll drown, too."
"I couldn't help it," said the scorpion. "It's my nature."
To test yourself, here's a question for you.
When looking at our current industrial action woes, who is the fox and who is the scorpion?
The business owner would probably say "The business is the fox. The workers want more, and to get what they want they deliberately harm the income stream of the business to get what they want. But in so doing they're hurting my ability to give them more. Now we are both dying. I'm the fox. Those striking employees are the scorpion."
The striking employee would probably say "The business is the scorpion. He came to me and said help me make money. I've been carrying this business. It is my sweat that makes that money, and yet I struggle to have a decent living while the business owner lives a great life. This business owner has poisoned me and now we are both dying. I'm the fox. The business owner is the scorpion."
Actually it's a trick question - does it really matter who is the fox and who is the scorpion when both die anyway!
The original lesson is there are some people you just shouldn't have pacts with because disaster for both is inevitable. Just avoid getting into that situation.
Good advice if you've got a choice. A rather chilling prophesy of what lies ahead if you don't.
For most of us here in South Africa, there is little choice - this relationship needs to be entered.
And rest assured those with a choice will heed the lesson of the tale, avoid us and leave us to our fate.
So there is only one way we can survive. We have to change our nature.
But can we change our nature?
Time will tell.
But I predict this much - we stand absolutely no chance if we forget the real goal is to get to the other side of the river alive and well.
And it seems we have to do that together.
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