You remember the story of the frog and the scorpion?

The scorpion asks the frog for a ride across the river.

“But you are a scorpion,” says the frog. “You will sting me.”

“No, I won’t,” promised the scorpion. “I will be the perfect gentleman if you kindly give me a ride across the river.”

“Alright,” responded the frog, ignoring his better judgment.

The two head out, swimming across the river. The frog stroking along. The scorpion peacefully sunning his backside.

Suddenly, as the pair finds mid-river, the scorpion stings the frog.

“Ouch! You said you wouldn’t do that!” exclaimed the frog.

“I know,” said the scorpion with a satisfied smile on his face. “But after all, I am a scorpion. That’s what I do.”

Can people change? Sure, they can. Otherwise, I would have chosen a different vocation. But they must want to change while being willing to do the massive action required to make those changes. Without those two ingredients, believe people when they tell you who they are or show you who they are with a pattern of behavior. Stop idealizing a different outcome or aggrandizing that you are going to be the one to change toxicity. Rather, remember the wise words of the scorpion – “that’s what I do.” It will make your swim across the river a safe bet.

For the rise of your life …