This week I want to comment on the parable of the Turkey.
The Parable of the Turkey
There was once a turkey who was hatched on a cold winter’s morning. Luckily, he lived with his family in a warm coop, where he had plenty of corn to eat, and spent his time playing with all the other little turkeys.
In springtime, as he got older, he and his friends would go out and play together in the farmyard. They always had plenty to eat and shelter from the elements. On occasion nice people would come and clean the coop, refill the corn bins, and make sure the fences were secure to keep away the bad cats and foxes.
“Gosh we’re lucky,” our turkey would say say to his friends on occasion. “What wonderful lives we have. We are fed and taken care of, and all we have to worry about is having fun.”
As the summer days got shorter and the evenings got colder, the turkeys continued to live the good life. The farmer turned on the heat in the coop, so the turkeys always had somewhere warm to go back to after playing in the yard. And since it was much colder now, they rarely went outside, and slowly they got fatter and fatter.
Our turkey continued to remark to his fellow fowl, “How lucky we are,” and they all agreed that they would rest up during the cold months so they could play hard again in the spring.
And then came Thanksgiving.
This story is about risk and avoiding the catastrophic outcome of Thanksgiving day. Fortunately for us, there is a difference between humans and turkeys. Humans can evaluate potential outcomes of an action, whereas the turkey is completely unaware of how their decisions can impact their future. The bad news is, we are not always great at weighing the risk of these Thanksgiving Day outcomes until they happen.
Certain activities for humans I would classify as similar to enjoying the warmth and safety of the coop are abusing drugs, trading with leverage, and unprotected sex with strangers. For years you can have fun taking drugs, make incredible returns, and have more stimulating sex... until Thanksgiving Day. On the other side of the short-sighted pleasure of those actions is the coldness of an overdose, bankruptcy, or STI/undesired pregnancy. These are irreversible outcomes and their predecessor actions should be avoided entirely.
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