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Being Yourself: Are You a Saint or a Scorpion?

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Being Yourself: Are You a Saint or a Scorpion?


    Once upon a time, on his way to the Himalayas, was a saint, a wandering ascetic. He came across a shallow river he had to cross. Just when he was about to wet his feet, he saw a scorpion helplessly treading the water, trying to come out of the river. It was almost touching the bank but not enough to gain hold of the ground. The sage saw scorpion’s struggle and decided to save it.

    He picked up the scorpion in his right palm with the intention to place it on the dry surface. No sooner did he do that than the scorpion stung and rushed off the palm in frenzy, landing in the water again. It resumed its struggle to come out of water. The sage caressed his ailing right hand with his left. His body was in pain but his mind, calm.

    Seeing that the scorpion could lose its life, the sage used left hand this time to lift the scorpion out of water. However, it panicked and stung again. Once again, it sped off the hand and fell in water resuming its struggle to come out. The saint was left with both hands singed with excruciating pain. He was not the one to give up either.

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    He tried again. This time, he cupped his hands together and lifted the scorpion in one swift movement. Before it could react, he safely dropped it on the land. The scorpion disappeared into the pebbles that lay near the bank. The sage felt elated, for, he succeeded in carrying out his resolve, for saving another life, in holding his forte. It was worth the pain he thought.

    At a distance, oblivious to the saint, a man, surprised and shocked, had watched the whole episode. He promptly approached the sage and said, “Pray, can I ask you a question please?”

    “Yes, you may.”

    “First of all, there was no need to save a scorpion. It does no good to anybody. Secondly, if must you save him out of compassion, you could have simply tried once. I’m surprised that even after it stung you so ungratefully, you persisted with your efforts. Why? How come you did not just stomp on it after it stung you?”

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    “Oh! That’s pretty simple,” the sage replied softly rubbing his stung hands against each other. “This was a scorpion, someone really low on the food chain, a creature whose nature is to sting, to panic, to harm. It is known for not exhibiting any compassion. It is supposed to be weak. Whereas, I am supposed to be a saint, a person whose job is to love everybody, to only offer unconditional love and compassion. I am supposed to be the strong one, the one higher up on the food chain. With my principles and lifestyle, my philosophy and practice, my elevated emotional and mental state, I am supposed to cleanse and transform the other individual. Right?”

    The man nodded.

    “Well then, a creature as lowly and weak as a scorpion does not change its basic nature, its traits, reactions in the presence of a holy man. Should I, the one who’s supposed to be a saint, let go off my righteous conduct, my demeanor in the presence of a scorpion? Am I now so weak to allow a measly creature change me, throw me off my principles and virtues? It did what it is designed for and I did what I’m designed for. It retained its behavior, and I, mine.”

    The man prostrated at the feet of the sage and expressed his gratitude for the profound wisdom.

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    Living in this world, disagreements are normal, in fact, natural. You will meet people ranging from scorpions to saints, thankful to thankless, from weak to wild, and so forth. If they are able to provoke you, put you off, throw you off balance, they are stronger than you. When in any conflict, if you retain your goodness, you will emerge a winner. If you stoop down to their level, treating them the way they treated you, that invariably means they have won, that means you have become like them. Rarely worth it, if you ask me.

    It is often not possible for a person to be one or the other at all times. Sometimes circumstances force you to sting like a scorpion, perhaps you may even repent later on; forgive yourself. A lot more important is to make a serious attempt to act like a saint. Whether you are a sage or a scorpion, it is a matter of choice, an independent choice. You have the option to retain your individuality. Strength comes naturally from such stance.

    So, if you are willing, write in the comments below, whether you are:

    • (a) a sage;
    • (b) a scorpion;
    • (c) or you can be either depending on the situation.

    If you wish to be a sage under all circumstances, you can. It requires mindfulness and a conscious effort. Nothing will ever bother you thereafter.

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    Peace.

    (Photo credit: Man With Devil and angel on Shoulders via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2021

      The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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      The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

      Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

      There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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      Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

      Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

      Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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      Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

      1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
      2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
      3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
      4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
      5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

      Now on to the checklist!

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      Here is how your checklist should look

      1. CAMPSITE GEAR

      • Tent, poles, stakes
      • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
      • Extra tarp or canopy
      • Sleeping bag for each camper
      • Sleeping pad for each camper
      • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
      • Pillows
      • Extra blankets
      • Chairs
      • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
      • Lantern
      • Lantern fuel or batteries

      2.  KITCHEN

      • Stove
      • Fuel for stove
      • Matches or lighter
      • Pot
      • French press or portable coffee maker
      • Corkscrew
      • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
      • Food-storage containers
      • Trash bags
      • Cooler
      • Ice
      • Water bottles
      • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
      • Cups, mugs
      • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
      • Cutting board
      • Foil
      • soap
      • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
      • Paper towels
      • Extra bin for washing dishes

      3. CLOTHES

      • Clothes for daytime
      • Sleepwear
      • Swimsuits
      • Rainwear
      • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
      • Extra layers for warmth
      • Gloves
      • Hats

      4. PERSONAL ITEMS

      • Sunscreen
      • Insect repellent
      • First-aid kit
      • Prescription medications
      • Toothbrush, toiletries
      • Soap

      5. OTHER ITEMS

      • Camera
      • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
      • Maps, area information

      This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

      Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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