Reward

In a shabby laboratory
A dog sits
Waiting
Salivating
At the sound of a bell
Conditioned
Awaiting its reward

But I am no dog
And yet, Pavlov’s bell rings for me

Poor old dog
Sitting in its laboratory
Waiting
Salivating
At the sound of a bell
But now the rewards are intermittent
Unpredictable

But I am no dog
And yet, Pavlov’s bell rings for me

Those rewards so fleeting and erratic
So seemingly arbitrary
Conspire to produce
Compulsion

But I am no dog
Rather an autonomous rational human
And yet, Pavlov’s bell rings for me

What is the reward of which I speak?
Not drugs, alcohol or a thrilling win

Rather
A smile, a kind word
A few moments of time

I am no dog
But I am still waiting for my reward

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