By Earl Nightengale
There's a story attributed to Henry Miller, the writer, about a little boy in India who went
up to a guru who was sitting and looking at something in his hand. The little boy went
up and looked at it. He didn't quite understand what it was, so he asked the guru, "What
"It's a cocoon," answered the guru, "Inside the cocoon is a butterfly. Soon the cocoon is
going to split, and the butterfly will come out."
"Could I have it?" asked the little boy.
"Yes," said the guru, "but you must promise me that when the cocoon splits and the
butterfly starts to come out and is beating it's wings to get out of the cocoon, you won't
help it. It is important not to help the butterfly by breaking the cocoon apart. It must do
it on it's own."
The little boy promised, took the cocoon, and went home with it. He then sat and
watched it. He saw it begin to vibrate and move and quiver, and finally the cocoon split
in half. Inside was a beautiful damp butterfly, frantically beating its wings against the
cocoon, trying to get out and not seeming to be able to do it. The little boy desperately
wanted to help. Finally, he gave in, and pushed the two halves of the cocoon apart. The
butterfly sprang out, but as soon as it got out, it fell to the ground and was dead. The
little boy picked up the dead butterfly and in tears went back to the guru and showed it
"Little boy," said the guru, "You pushed open the cocoon, didn't you?"
"Yes," said the little boy, "I did."
The guru spoke to him gravely, "You don't understand. You didn't understand what you
were doing. When the butterfly comes out of the cocoon, the only way he can
strengthen it's wings is by beating them against the cocoon. It beats against the cocoon
so it's muscles will grow strong. When you helped it, you prevented it from developing
the muscles it would need to survive."
It's a story every parent, "helpers/caregivers",
and other professionals should remember. . .
Handing a child the toy he wants, instead of letting him crawl across the room for it or
try his best to crawl for it; fulfilling his every whim; loading him down with toys and
other shiny beautiful things before he really needs or desires them;
loading him down with toys and other
shiny beautiful things before he really
needs or desires them; emphasizing the
importance of grades in school instead of
the importance of education. . .
all of these things tend to weaken the
muscles a child should be developing on
his own so that when the time comes to
function independently, he will have the
strength he needs.
So often, what seems harsh or cruel
in nature, is in reality wisdom and
kindness for the time ahead.
|MorningStar Inspiration from
Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
Questions and comments welcomed.