Warning: Alligators do eat people. I have a pond by my house and there is a sign posted by the pond that says, “Beware Alligators and Snakes”. In Florida the waters are not safe. I am not talking about the gulf or ocean. I am talking about the fresh water. There are alligators living in the fresh water ponds and lakes, and they do attack people and pets. There are also poisonous snakes. Most people who have lived here awhile know about these dangers. Unfortunately, many people move to Florida and do not know about fresh water hazards and really do not understand the real danger that can be hidden in the water. I had new neighbors move in next door with 3 little children under the age of 5. One day the children were outside playing and while they were playing, they were going near the water. Now, I am not the type of person who can sit and watch stuff happen. So, I decided to go over and introduced myself to the dad. I thought maybe he hadn’t read the sign and did not realize that there are alligators in the water. The dad proceeded to tell me “yes, I read the sign, but I didn’t see any alligators” I calmly explained to him, you may not be able to see the alligators, but they can see you. I also told him that there is a cottonmouth snake, which is poisonous, that lives in the water, and I spread my arms to show him how big it is. Believe me It is big. He thanked me and as I was walking away, I saw him talk to his children. Now, when the children play outside, they stay away from the water.
My point for this story is to say that signs are there for a reason. They warn us about the dangers ahead or dangers that we cannot see. There are different types of signs in our outside world as well as warning signs inside you. Your body might be trying to warn you about something that it sees as a danger. If you are getting a warning sign from your thoughts or your body is getting sick from stress or anxiety. You might want to listen to these warning signs and get help. Or, maybe you have a friend who is giving off warning signs with how they are acting or what they are saying. This might be sign that they are asking for help. It is ok to listen to these warning signs and get help. Following the signs does not make you weak it might actual save your life. Remember, even if you might not see the danger, it can be lurking around the corner or hiding and get you when you least expect it. AND, Please, do me a favor, stay away from the water when there is a sign that says, “Beware Alligators & Snakes”!