Acorns and Pumpkins – The future is a promise, can you see it?
There is a story about two men who went for a drive off the main road and into a rural countryside of orchards and pasture animals. Walter, the driver, stopped after a time and described all the building plans he had for a project on the property to his friend. He encouraged his good friend Arthur to buy some of the land near the planned project, believing it would increase in value. Arthur considered how far they were from town and was afraid that no one would be willing to brave the 25 mile drive out to nowhere no matter how good the project sounded, so he did not purchase any nearby land.
Later, Art Linkletter would remember how he’d missed an opportunity to buy some of the acreage around Disneyland, but his friend, Walt Disney, had tried to inspire him about this future opportunity.
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” – Proverbs 21:20 NIV
Nothing worth doing comes easily, that’s true, but sometimes we are by nature more willing to pay for “emotional insurance” that prevents negative feelings – like fear, and we are less willing to risk creating positive feelings.
When one door closes another opens; sometimes we need to stop looking at closed doors and start checking for ones now open.
“Lazy people always want things but never get them while those who work hard prosper.” – Proverbs 13:4
Interesting info: Art Linkletter was born Gordon Arthur Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and abandoned when he was weeks old then adopted by Mary and Fulton Linkletter, Fulton was a preacher. Art married Lois in 1935 in Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego and they remained married for 74 years.
Walt Disney was born in Chicago, loved to draw, dropped out of high school at age 16, and adored trains.
There is a folktale about a frog and a scorpion that goes like this:
Scorpions can’t swim, so when the scorpion met a frog along the bank of a stream he asked for a ride across the water on the frog’s back.
The frog was skeptical. “How do I know you won’t sting me while I swim? Then I would drown.”
“If I were to sting you,” smiled the scorpion, “then I would go down with you and drown myself. It doesn’t make sense for me to do that!”
So the frog agreed to carry the scorpion across the stream. The scorpion walked sideways onto the frog’s back and off they went. When they were halfway there the scorpion gave the frog a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, drowning, the frog asked, “Why did you do it?”
The dying scorpion answered, “It’s my nature.”
“Being with evil people will harm you.” – Proverbs 13:20
We’ve all known bad people. More frustrating is that good people often give bad people many opportunities to improve. As the frog learned the hard way, this is a mistake. Good things – like a generous offer to ride across the stream, seem to happen to bad people all the time. Remember that it still doesn’t change their nature. People with a bad character cause damage to relationships, organizations, bank accounts, and reputations. Good people “give them one more chance”, but shouldn’t. The mighty sting will inevitably come.
“Don’t be jealous of crooks or want to be their friends. All they think about is violence and cruelty. ” – Proverbs 24:24
How can good people recognize the damaging people in their lives? It’s sad that bad people behave selfishly and seek out good people for abuse and harm; having a bad person in your life is not a reflection on you as a moral and respectful person, but it is important to recognize that toxic people cause stress and potentially long-lasting negative impacts to those who keep them around .
Signs you are dealing with a “toxic” person:
You think about their attitude, lack of respect, or lack of performance more than 15 minutes a day.
You repeatedly talk about how to handle this person.
You’ve tried coaching this person and it goes nowhere.
This person says or does things behind your back.
When you think about whether or not you would re-hire or have this person in your work or personal life again, your answer is “no”, I wouldn’t do that.
Your gut tells you that something is “not quite right” about the person, they have given you “false” hope that they will change but it doesn’t pan out, or they just plain and simply are, “unpleasant, draining, and hard to be around”.
If you recognize signs of a toxic person you should take steps to protect yourself. They are like a poison in that they do nothing to enrich your life or career and they don’t do anything to make your life easier. Parents be forewarned – toxic people can be in your children’s lives, especially at school, and you may need to take steps to minimize your child’s contact with them as a protective measure.
Signs that a person is a “scorpion” by nature:
Selfish – rarely show concern for others.
Need to be right – will argue until you are exhausted even if the issue is small.
Surrounded by drama.
They lie – withholding info, twisting the truth or misleading you .
Too eager – hasty about building a relationship with you; ignoring your requests as they pressure you about relationships or contracts.
Always a victim -they find someone else is to blame.
Nothing nice to say about others – gleeful about running people down.
Won’t let go – if a person seems to thrive on negativity and drama, drags an issue up at every opportunity, depresses everyone they come in contact with, won’t move past it – beware!
Evasive – toxic people thrive on drama and attention – they enjoy making others look weak, muddle the truth, lie at will, and the purpose? To make others unsure of what is going on by providing no straight answers and sabotaging people in their way.
Not nice -a clear way to get an idea of someone’s character is to watch how they treat others. Toxic people can be flattering and lovely when they want something from you, but how nice are they to other people’s children?
Many of us are dealing with toxic people because we have no choice. If this is the case be polite and honest, record everything, stick to your boundaries, don’t share confidences, and remain firm about your principles.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.