Some foolish frogs were croaking out their story in the mud at the edge of their empty pond.
“Things have never been so bad”, said one.
“Niddip”, the other croaked in sombre agreement. “When I was a tadpole there was always plenty of water to swim around in.”
“And fresh pond slime to eat”, chirruped the first.
“We were promised flies and mosquitoes when we grew up but I haven’t seen a bug for days.”
“No wonder our numbers are declining throughout the world,” mumbled the first.
“Niddip”, they croaked again, and fell into a serious but loud froggy misery.
While they were thus distracted
Suddenly a large heron that had been attracted by their silly croaking pounced out of the grass and ate both of them in a bite.
And that is the way of grumblers.
What does this mean?
George Bernard Shaw — English Playwright wrote, “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful.” We can focus on the problem or become part of the solution.
What does this mean to you?
We croak about a lot of things: politics, national leadership, climate crises, droughts, exchange rates, dairy prices, the price of petrol, terrorism, unemployment, college debt, mortgage rates, first home prices and so much more. We bog ourselves in the mud and fail to see what’s happening to us. We are getting distracted and we become prey for our enemy.
“As you ramble on through life, Brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
What do I recommend you do about it?
If you are an inveterate raver, you are possibly beyond cure from that malady, but there is hope for anyone with a serious case of bloviation. And I understand. You talk a lot. Fair enough. But how about changing the subject? Next time you want to blather on about the pastor, the President, the Pope, the pop stars, the poor, the past, the pollution, the post, the pain, the parking or the pills; change the subject:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think (ED: and talk about) about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Something Paul wrote a few seconds later about focusing on the doughnut at hand might serve my purposes here:
… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behindand straining toward what is ahead, I press ontoward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12–14, NIV)
Croak thou not, but ever press on!
Colin Pearce, tells stories, writes about storytelling for business and coaches communicators. He’s been doing it for 40 years in 15 countries, 28 states of the US, and all over Australia and New Zealand. He helps people with a significant message to put it across in a short, sharp story so it impacts, sticks and makes a difference. He’s writing his 11th book now: Storytelling works. He says, ‘I’ll make you so good they can’t ignore you.’
His wife, four adult children and six grandchildren are his joy.