So You Think Alligators Don’t Bite?

It’s the middle of the month – time to pay bills online, give the finances a cursory glance and place a big check mark next to “mid-month accounting” which has top billing on my TA-DA list. No it’s not a typo – and yes spell check is on – I simply choose the term Ta-da over the common To-Do!

Getting the task finished so I can exclaim “ta-daaaah” is so much more palatable to me than having to DO something I’m not terribly motivated to start. I get to strike off the task and sing “Ta-daaaah” – I live for that sense of achievement! But today I am motivated to blog, which will provide me with an even greater sense of satisfaction, since I have been sloughing off on entries. I will blog and shelve the accounting.
Love that we have choices in life, don’t you?

I was thinking about my late 1950’s time in East Africa this morning and remembered the inebriated golfer near Lake Victoria who accepted a “dare” to stick a postage stamp on the rump of a hippopotamus. He succeeded in placing the stamp on the hippo’s gigantic rear. He won the bet – but at what cost?

I don’t recall what the prize was exactly but it wasn’t much – maybe his friends offered to pay for his drinks at the nineteenth hole or maybe it was for £10 – I don’t recall, but I do wonder if winning the bet was worth the consequences – hospital time and a bazillion stitches. In my opinion, he was fortunate to live to tell the tale… so to speak!

By now you’re wondering about my ability to focus on a topic. Wasn’t her story line something about an alligator? Why is she talking about hippos? What is the connection between hippos and alligators? Sorry my thoughts wandered and it’s hard to follow the thread at times!

In case you haven’t guessed, these animals share some commonalities! TEETH and JAWS! Huge, razor-sharp, killer teeth that slash and tear flesh; enormous ugly teeth attached to jaws that can crush bones and lop off human limbs, like snapping a twig! These animals pack a deadly bite and just about everyone knows it. So how did I arrive at this juncture? My thoughts about Africa led me to stories of biting creatures – which then morphed from hippo to alligator. Make sense?

A successful entrepreneur friend of ours is known for sharing great common-sense and succinct advice that really speaks to me, not only in a business sense, but on a personal level. I believe one can benefit from applying his wisdom to life in general.

“Stay out of the swamps. Alligators live there.
Alligators eat people.”
Simple fact – simple truth!
Don’t lose the wisdom in its simplicity.

If you don’t want to set yourself up for pain, don’t go where you know the potential for pain exists. If you don’t want to get eaten by alligators, don’t go into the swamps – at least not willingly – and if you have no other choice, be very sure of the consequences of doing so – and go armed.

Example! If you’re allergic to peanuts, you might not want to seek employment in a peanut factory! I’m just saying…that’s an alligator!! If you’re obese and need to lose weight and you know the devil lives in fatty French fries, stay out of fast food restaurants. That’s your alligator. If you’re in a destructive relationship that you know isn’t good for you, get out of the swamp. That’s your alligator!

Your alligator could be almost anything disguised in a person, food, a thing, an obsession, an addiction, a job or a bad habit……. How do I know? I’ve been down to the swamps myself. I’ve seen the alligators. I stay out!

Sometimes the alligators are not so obvious. They sneak around and hide in still waters. They wallow in muddy shores or conceal themselves in the shadows under the roots of trees. You cannot always see them, but you know they live in the swamps and you know that their teeth, while not visible, are sharp, their jaws like steel traps, and their bite dismembers and kills. An unseen peril is just as deadly, so be aware and know what lurks in the murky shadows.

Thank goodness we are free to make choices in life. Let’s choose wisely. If you don’t want to feel pain, don’t set yourself up to receive it…it’s bad enough that others can set you up with an unsuspecting side-swipe – don’t willingly go into the jaws of a man-eater and set yourself up for pain and failure!

Instead, change YOU – change what you DO! Why would someone keep doing the same thing and expect a different result? Change yourself, your thoughts, and your actions and you change your life. It’s within your power to do so. Work on it. Just do it!

Let’s circle back to the hippopotamus story. If you don’t want to get ripped to shreds by a hippo, don’t attempt to stick a postage stamp on its rear. Hippos don’t like that – and they have big mouths, strong jaws, and sharp teeth. So do ‘gators. Alligators live in the swamps. Alligators eat people. Stay out of the swamps. My ending question is one only you can answer.

“What’s your alligator and do you know where it hides out?”

 “Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder! Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first”  Steve Irwin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *