HA! I don’t think I have ever used this defense, but I may need to start!
By nature, I tend to be serious and contemplative. There are, however, times when it starts to wear me down. I know I need to lighten up, but I’m not quite sure how to do that.
When I try, I find myself remembering the story of the scorpion and the frog (sometimes attributed to Aesop).
A frog and a scorpion meet on a river bank. The scorpion asks the frog to ferry it across the river to the other side. The frog replies, “Why would I do that? You’ll sting me and I’ll die.”
“No, I wouldn’t,” the scorpion assures the frog. “If I sting you, I’d die, too.”
The frog considers this. He shrugs (if frogs could shrug — or scorpions could talk) and tells the scorpion to “hop” on.
Half-way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. The poison seeps into the frog’s body paralyzing it. The frog asks, “But why? Now we will both die.”
As they start sinking to their deaths, the scorpion replies, “I couldn’t help it. It’s my nature.”
So my nature is to be serious and contemplative. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a part of me that longs to have a little fun.
Don’t tell Earl this, but he helps me have fun. He loves to play. I don’t know how to play. As weird as that sounds, it’s true. Earl is teaching me, and I find myself resisting it, which is counter-productive, but sometimes by trying not to play, I find myself having a lot of fun with him.
The truth is… I worry that I won’t be “any good” at playing. How silly is that?
I can easily take the quote “In my defense, I was left unsupervised” in a thought-provoking direction.
I can reflect on how frequently I fall into the pattern of doing things the way they are “supposed” to be done or the way that other people have done them. It reminds me that most activities have “guidelines” real or imagined attached to them. I am an EXCELLENT rule follower! I am also a supervisor: one who enforces the rules.
Sigh… not much fun in that!
The magic probably does happen when we go unsupervised.
When we hike off trail or follow some inner voice that tells us that doing things a little differently is a good idea, we open our minds to new adventures and possibilities. When we take action that we might not take if other people were with us or aware of what we were doing, we can test ourselves in unexpected ways.
The best stories seem to come from the unsupervised moments!
And then, of course, my mind goes to the disclaimer that I should add to this post stating that I am not encouraging you to do anything illegal, immoral, or indecent.
Sigh… sorry about that, it’s just my nature.
Could you benefit from taking some time unsupervised?
Tell me about it in the comments section.