A couple of weeks ago the kids and I went to Lake Powell - one of the most beautiful places on earth with blue water, intense red rock canyons and private pristine coves.
One morning I woke early and tip-toed from my sleeping bag, grasped my pink fishing pole quietly and stepped across the rock to the water's edge. Having run out of powerbait the night before, and wanting to have a yummy catfish fry this morning, I broke off a dime scooped piece of hot dog and placed it ever so invitingly on the three pronged hook.
Casting the line 20 feet out, with my happy morning toes wiggling as I sat on the fire hydrant sized boulder, I began singing " . . . 'cause Oscar Meyer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N- hey!!!!!!! WHOAAAAAAAAA!!!! OH my gosh, oh my gosh . . . "
Standing and wrestling with my pole as it dragged left, then right, I realized it was not a plant I'd snagged under the water, but a HUGE fish! Sadly though it was not a catfish, but a carp - not the breakfast I had hoped for.
Giddy that I'd enjoyed my first battle with a big fish, I loaded another hot dog and cast again. This time hoping for a whiskered kitty fish on the end of my line. SNAP! Withing minutes, another bite, another exhilerating battle with another Oscar Meyer loving fish . . . and again, another carp.
The carp were loving the hot dogs. But I didn't want carp. I was beginning to understand that certain bait catches certain fish. What I was putting out there was attracting specific results. And, carp, a bottom dweller, was not the result I wanted. I surrendered and had Raisin Bran for breakfast.
This past weekend we went to Vegas. A whole different type of environment with a whole different type of fish.
I watched as people were baited, hooks set, and reeled in by the advertising, the branding, the imagery, the sex, the appetites, the intrigues. I watched how people were lured and almost hypnotized by the lights, the alcohol and the anonymity. I watched how some swam at the top - taking in the talent and adventure and the good fun - while others lost everything, their moral compass, even their dignity, and stood with signs begging for a dollar desperate to gamble it away or drink it down with a cheap Vodka.
Every one of us is being baited. Call it capitalism, call it temptation, call it the law of attraction . . . whatever you call it, what hooks you, what keeps you, what inspires or enslaves you, will give you clues about your character.
Do you hang out in the fresh water, swim with the dophins, or are you a bottom dweller, gulping down anything that could possibly satisfy in the moment?
Something catches our eye, attracts us and pulls us in.
A word to the wise . . . be careful what that is my friend. It's all fun and games til the oil in the pan starts to sizzle . . .