I’m sure you know the fable of the slow-boiled frog. If you drop a frog into a boiling pot of water, the frog will leap out to escape the heat. If, however, you place a frog in a pot of lukewarm water, and then slowly bring the pot to boil, the frog won’t sense the slow temperature change and will stay in the pot of rising, boiling water, until the frog is cooked, and dead.
The lesson of the boiled frog fable is that we are all susceptible to being stewed alive if we become too content, and too unaware, of the dangers rising around us. Some have used Global Warming as a modern day exemplar of this fable, but I wonder if a more appropriate memeing is how quickly we give away our moral duty, and relinquish our human respectability, to the evil, and the cruel, surrounding us.
Yes, I think that most caring Americans are now half-boiled toads — slowly percolating to death on a bed of political ineptitude, and purposeful brutality. We excuse the immorality of our elected representatives with waived hands, and batted eyelashes. We accept the lowering of the standards of cruelty to dead bodies found in the schoolyard as if we were a third-world nation embroiled in a Civil War for drugs and power and not graduation diplomas.
My concern is that we are all already halfway boiled — cooked medium-well — and I don’t know if we can reverse the heat, and throw turpitude in reverse with the time, and allowances, we have left on this earth.
Here we sit, content to wait until the midterm elections to make a move against tyranny; meanwhile, behind our backs, and in front of our faces, foreign nationals, and homebrewed fascists, are scheming against our democracy to hack away at the foundations of liberty and shared responsibility.
If deadlines are for dying, then we’re halfway strangled.
I am reminded of the wise words of — Joyce Kohl — one of my all-time favorite favorite David Boles, Blogs authors. Ten years ago, I strained my back, and every night I would sit, for hours, with a really hot heating pad locked to my lower back. It felt great. I would sweat, get super hot, and the pain would fade away for a few hours — at least until the next day when I was up and active again.
Joyce was horrified by my nightly, hourly, use of the heating pad. She repeatedly warned me that my “back was meat” and every night, I was “cooking my back until well-done!” Joyce urged me to be careful, and cautious, with the direct application of heat to muscle because extreme, unattended, unattentive, heat was dangerous — in the least, I could burn myself.
Joyce Kohl was right. Joyce Kohl was always right about everything! I was cooking myself alive! In the light of the moment, it was worth it, though, because my back felt so comfortable, and the moist heat took away the pain; but I did my best to wean myself away from the electric flame because, deep down, I knew I might be doing irreversible, long term, damage to my nerves and veins; but to act to care to really heal what was ailing me, I had to want to live beyond the moment, and hope to thrive in the future.
I’m sure that’s how many of us feel right now — we’re in trouble, but there’s no direct way out of the path of danger. Our nation is in a woke, national, despair — with no escape until the midterm elections; and so here we sit, tightly, nightly, feeling ill, and put-upon, and lied to, and shot at, while the bullies from our childhood reemerge, in power, to blow snot in our faces, and to plant farts in the meadows — and in the midst of the harangue, we really don’t mind being half dead, or almost alive, even if it means we are parboiled in our own, cracked, shells.
My back is fine now. All the muscles and skin healed just fine. I have a perfectly raw, uncooked, back again, and I made it happen by slowly weaning myself away from the flame. If there is to be hope for us, then there must be hope for the all of us, the Us of Us, who may still feel stuck to the flame.
We start the process of pealing by refusing to accept our own denigration in person, in the media, and online. We can stand up to evil. We can beat the bully. We can quickly add ice to the boiling water by refusing to be unaware just because it feels better than standing up and fighting.
It’s better to be half-boiled than wholly dead — and that’s the path of righteous resistance that calls those of us — who are still paying attention — to duty. We will not be silenced. We will not sit down. We shall not be moved.
When we stand as one, we will conquer those who claim that enslaving us is their natural born right. We know better. We have always known better. There is no one left to rescue us — and so — we must salvage our own souls; and by saving ourselves, for each other, we will be preserving the nation in the cool light of the promise of reasonableness resetting the evil heat of intentional distress, and cruelty.
The temperature of the boiling toad is controlled only by our hands against the flame.