As I hear with sadness about more and more of our youth getting addicted to drugs and alcohol, I remember the story of two fish moving along the water together and who come across what looks like a huge cave. “Let’s go in and explore,” says the smaller of the two fish gleefully. “It could be dangerous!” warns the second. “I’m going,” says the first little fish and swims right into the shark’s mouth, which clamps shut as soon as the little fish is in.

I came across another little anecdote story that took place again in water: A tourist standing by the Niagara saw an eagle swoop upon a frozen lamb encased in a piece of floating ice. The eagle stood upon it as it drifted towards the rapids. Every now and then, the huge bird lifted its proud head into the air to look around as much as to say, “I am drifting towards danger but I know what I am doing, I shall fly away and make good my escape before it’s too late!”

When it reached the edge, it stooped, spread its powerful wings, and leaped into the air, but alas while feeding on the carcass, its feet had frozen onto the fleece. The powerful but now helpless eagle tried to leap again, shrieking with fright, beating upon the air frantically with its wings until it went over the chasm and into death below.

Often trying to experience something, we flirt with danger.

I remember when cigarettes were distributed free on my college campus by students employed by cigarette companies. “Come on, have one puff! Just one puff! You don’t have to smoke ever again, but experience it once!” And so many of that generation are down with heart disease or have died of lung cancer. They couldn’t give it up after the first experience!

Do you long for your first sip of alcohol that leads to a lifetime of alcoholism?

Your game of cards which makes you a compulsive gambler?

That little trip to the moon and back; your first encounter with drugs which sees you addicted for life?

A lustful walk to the whorehouse, and the dreaded HIV?

Is it worth going in and exploring, like the little fish did?

I have met alcoholics facing ruin who look at me with a glazed eye and say, “I can kick the habit any day!” And my mind goes to that powerful eagle, looking with disdain at the mighty falls, feeling the power of his wings and then suddenly it’s too late.

               There’s nothing wrong or foolhardy

               To climb the highest mountain

               Or swim the deepest sea

               But fooling around with evil

               Spells death and misery..!

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