119. The Parable of the Salt Trap

Dave Chappelle has been trending for the past couple of days. The comedian just dropped his highly anticipated Netflix specials, delighting some and angering others. Either way, the specials come after a 10 year hiatus, a sabbatical he took after turning down 50 million dollars for moral reasons.

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As much as I want to remember my high school days quoting Chappelle's Show with my friends, I want to dig deeper. I want to analyze an analogy he uses for choosing life and peace over money and exploitation. I would like to call this one The Parable of the Salt Trap.  Wait, let me introduce this better:

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story...

The Parable of the Salt Trap

(if you don't know what I just did, then you're not a true 90's kid, and well I would question whether we could hang in real life lol. Ok, let's start the parable)

A certain man thirsts in a desert. The man knows he can get an abundance of water from a baboon's secret water oasis. However, the location is undisclosed. After all, the oasis is a secret.

The man also knows that the baboon loves salt. The man sets a trap for the baboon, placing salt inside of a hole. The baboon is lured by the salt in the hole, sticks his hand inside to grab onto it, and realizes his hand is stuck.

At first the baboon protests, trying to force his hand out of the hole. He doesn't realize the salt is making his hand bigger, which is preventing his hand from slipping out of the hole.

In essence, all the baboon has to do is let go of the salt. He doesn't. He loves salt too much. Because of this, the baboon soon finds himself with a leash-like rope around his neck. He is also given as much salt as he wants.

Once the baboon is freed, the baboon races to his secret water oasis. Not only does he drink, the thirsty man drinks too.

 Wise African tricks the baboon. He lures the baboon in, traps him, feeds him salt, and follows him to the water.

Wise African tricks the baboon. He lures the baboon in, traps him, feeds him salt, and follows him to the water.

Verily, verily I say unto you, the man who falls into the traps of this world, compromising their moral character and values for riches, will be like a trapped baboon who hasn't let go of the salt. 

I know, I know. I went all biblical on you. But, I thought this was such an amazing analogy that speaks to a different issue. Many of us want what glitters. We want the appearance of safety, comfort, overabundance, acceptance, wealth, and prestige. But, what does that all cost? Will you allow yourself to be exploited? Will you compromise on your values? Will you compromise your integrity or dignity? 

In our quest to finding success -- whatever that looks like for each of us -- we must understand a few things:

1. We need to always remember who we are and not allow anyone to decide that for us. 

2. We need to write, speak, meditate, and internalize what we truly believe in. It may be cliche to say, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," but it's true. Don't fall for anything. People will use you and abuse you, and make you feel like you owe them because they gave you something shiny. 

3. We need to be careful of the company we keep. There is a such thing as wolves in sheep's clothing. Everyone who smiles in your face won't have your best interest at heart. You may have something an ill-intentioned person wants, and once they have it they can be quick to harm or discard you. Be discerning. 

4. Guard your heart and mind. I wrote about not putting poison into your spirit. Take heed to this advice. 

These are only a few things that we can do to be mindful of the evil that lurk in corners of the world. I'm so thankful that Dave Chappelle brought "The Parable of the Salt Trap" or "the wise African tricks the baboon" story to my attention. Whatever your opinion is of him doesn't negate the fact that he was right about this: