Updated: Nov 7, 2020
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
I found myself strolling along the bank of the river. Sighing, I allowed myself to gaze at my reflection in the clear water before resuming my slow steps. I had once again gotten my nose rubbed in the dirt after helping someone. Sometimes I wondered why I even bothered. Lifting my gaze away from the water, I saw a yogini meditating on a large stone about a foot away from the river up ahead. Not wanting to disturb her, I decided to turn around and walk back the way I’d come.
Just as my feet began to spin, from behind me, I heard a loud, “Ouch!”
My head twisted just in time to see the yogini brushing a scorpion from the palm of her hand. Hmm, I wondered, what was that about? I decided to watch for a moment as I continued to ponder the difference in “helping out” and “being used.” After being dropped like a hot potato by my ‘friend’ after helping him out of an embarrassing jam, I wasn’t sure if a difference actually existed.
After brushing her hand for a moment, the yogini returned to her meditation. Right before I began to resume my walk, the yogini bent forward and scooped something out of the water. Once again, I heard her exclaim, “Ouch!” She then brushed a scorpion from the palm of her hand again. I was perplexed. What is this yogini doing? Now my curiosity had been captured, and my desire to understand what she was doing outweighed the heaviness of my thoughts.
The yogini once again returned to her meditation. Sure enough, after a minute or so, the yogini bent forward and scooped something out of the water. It was another scorpion. As she placed it something on the bank, she expressed discomfort, rubbed her hand, and then went back to her meditation as if nothing happened.
I was transfixed in this strange dance. My feet drew me forward so I could observe closer. Was this some ancient ritual that I had never heard of? Over and over the yogini would break her meditation to bend forward and scoop a scorpion out of the edge of the water. And over and over again the scorpion would sting the yogini’s hand.
After watching for several minutes, I finally determined it was the same scorpion the entire time. No longer being able to contain my curiosity, I approached the rock where the yogini was meditating just in time to see the scorpion meander to the edge of the water and walk in only to begin drowning. The yogini bent forward to usher the scorpion to safety. The scorpion’s “thank you” was a sting and the yogini’s “you’re welcome” was an “ouch!”
Stepping forward, I respectfully said, “Honorable one, pardon me for interrupting your solitude, but I have been watching you for some time. Please tell me, why do you keep rescuing that scorpion only to have it sting you?”
Smiling, the yogini replied, “I saw you watching and wondered if you might come over. Young one, it is the nature of that scorpion to sting and it is my nature to help when I can.”
Blown away by the response of the yogini, I stood there in silence, dissecting the meaning of her words. The yogini, noticing that I was processing her explanation, said, “We have crossed paths for a reason today. In your daily comings and goings, I encourage you take the lesson of the scorpion with you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
The yogini smiled and said…
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ALWAYS HELP, EVEN IF IT STINGS.
FOR IT WILL GRATIFY SOME AND ASTONISH THE REST.
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