Almost everyone has heard of the story “Frankenstein”. Most people know that Frankenstein is actually the name of the creator of the monster and not of the actual monster itself. It’s a story set back in the late 1700’s, that was probably a shocking story for those days, especially coming from a woman author. My take on the story is that an arrogant young doctor decides to play God and create a being from deceased people’s parts. What he doesn’t anticipate is the pain, anguish and destruction the being and others will experience because of his ego.
For me it was an interesting tale, but at the same time frustrating and sad. To me, Doctor Frankenstein brought about a lot of heartache on himself by poor choices. Instead of coming clean at the beginning, he lied not only to those whom he loved, but also to himself and continued to make matters worse. Things escalated until irreversible tragedy resulted.
I soon began to see a similarity between this classic story and how we at times create our own monsters. What at times starts out as a lie, indiscretion, addiction or character flaw can turn into a run away monster which can ruin lives. We might think ourselves above the consequences, entitled or that we are justified in our actions. Little things may turn into big things that spiral out of control. Prisons are full of people who believed they were free to do as they pleased or that were searching for something to make them happy. C.S. Lewis said; “Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
My sweet husband and I knew of a wonderful young man who had his whole life ahead of him. He became engaged and soon afterwards found that he had terminal cancer. It was devasting not only to him, but of course, to all of us around him because he was such a ray of sunshine. My husband went to visit him one time and mentioned about another man who had an affair and had thrown away his marriage and family. The young man said to my husband that he wouldn’t trade places with that other man for anything. Even though he faced death, he had his life in order, his integrity, and felt at peace.
For most people rules and boundaries are simple and they recognize that is what keeps them safe. It is better to stay far away from dangerous situations then try to repair the damage done later.
The Fence or the Ambulance
‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke, and full many a peasant;
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally.
Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff’;”
Some said, “Put an ambulance down in the valley.”
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city,
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became brimful of pity
For those who slipped over that dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in the highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
Then an old sage remarked, “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing the results than to stopping the cause,
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he.
“Come, neighbors and friends let us rally:
If the cliff we will fence we might almost dispense
With an ambulance down in the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling:
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ‘tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than to deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence ‘round the top of the cliff,
Than an ambulance down in the valley!