Last year I planned two weekly posts: Monday Memoir and Working Wednesday. They were reflections on my life stories and how things were going in my work week. Over the year I managed about twenty-six of each category. I realised that the life stories were interesting because I enjoy the background research but the work posts were, well, like work and I needed to switch off from the day when I got home.
This year I dropping the Working Wednesday posts and picking up a new category It’s Never Too Late: The series will be short reflections on whatever emotion, personal trait or act has blessed me during the week and to kick off the series today’s reflection is about something we all need – compassion.
When someone asks why you keep making the same mistake it can be difficult to answer. How many times can we make the same error of judgement and yet ostensibly keep coming back for more. It’s a question I ask myself on a reasonably frequent basis. Sitting on the side of the road with my lunch salad on yet another day that was unfurling like so many other groundhog days, I remembered the lovely Zen story, the one about a monk and a scorpion. It reminded me some things worth repeating no matter how painful the outcome.
Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning.
One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank.
In the process he was stung.
He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in.
The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?”
“Because,” the monk replied, “to save is my nature.”