Thursday, March 21, 2013

When you are sick of sickness

You know the story of the serpent in the garden. Even in Paradise, Eve, who had everything she could possibly have wanted, needed, hoped for or desired, was willing to listen to the serpent's suggestion that she was being cheated of something. Eve was easily convinced that God was withholding knowledge or more specifically power  that would make her even happier than bliss.

The serpent was cunning. Clothed in a pleasing exterior, using the intimate tone of the friend, so very concerned for Eve's welfare, the serpent's real purpose was concealed. Plant the seed and in time Eve convinced herself that she was not as free as she believed, but was subjugated, a pawn, a victim even. Urged by a rising darker self to share her dissatisfaction with her closest friend, the two of them destroyed their own happiness. And so man fell from Paradise, or so the story goes.

It's the human story, reenacted again and again, in families, in the workplace, Little League or the not-for-profit, whenever any group forms to try and work together. No matter how carefully you screen, the serpent enters.

There's a time of waiting and assessment. Which of the group is most likely to play the part of Eve? There's always one who is fearful, suspicious or resentful. One who is constantly alert for signs that they are not included, respected or appreciated enough. A jealous one. That will be the one the serpent approaches first. Easily led by the serpent's tongue to dwell on their anger and dissatisfaction and be on the alert for any sign that reinforces their discontent, such feelings must be shared with a confidant. Yes, that one will agree.... thinking back, I remember when....

The serpent waits...then asks, "What did she mean by that?" The atmosphere chills, there are some signs of hostility.  There is a slow slide into chaos. The serpent sits back and enjoys watching it unfold.

But we have to understand that a serpent can't be anything other than what they are. The poison is in us. There's a Chinese proverb. "When you are sick of sickness, you are no longer sick."

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