A Frog In A Pot

Be a frog in a pond, not one in a pot.

The frog in a pot of cold water is a classic analogy of what can happen when an unnatural environment is changed incrementally at such a slow pace as to not be noticed until it becomes fatal.

In the analogy, the water (and the frog by consequence) is heated slowly so the frog doesn’t notice.

Its body has time to adjust.

This goes on unchecked over a period of time and eventually the frog dies before its sense of self preservation tells it to jump out.

This outcome wouldn’t be possible if the water went from cold to boiling immediately. The frog would sense the change and jump out.

Humans in a toxic environment behave in much the same manner because the same processes that keep the frog alive are involved in our personal and social preservation.

When something hits us suddenly that’s an immediate threat, we jump away or get ready to fight for our lives. But when only a little at a time comes our way we course correct, adapt, and cope: ignorant of the potential consequences these events have when they compound.

When a second event comes, we adjust again. Then a third, and so on. The water in the pot gets a little hotter each time.

Eventually the water gets so hot that we die before we can escape. We’ve doomed ourselves to a fate we allowed.

The only way to avoid this lethal mistake is to understand that we belong in a pond, not in a pot.

We must go where our nature calls us. Don’t be fooled by a habitat that looks ideal because it lacks things such as struggle or predation.

Ponds are filled with these things and they should be. Other things are trying to survive too.

Safety, like a pot that contains water only for our sake, is often an illusion: nothing will stop death or bad things from happening. Life is too dynamic and death too certain.

Eventually, our need to stay safe will boil us alive.

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