The Butterfly

                                           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 is that?"

    "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
    its 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 to him.

    "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/her best to crawl for it; fulfilling his/her every
    whim; loading him down with toys and other shiny beautiful things
    before s/he really needs or desires them;
    loading her/him down with toys
    and other shiny beautiful things
    before s/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 her/his own so
    that when the time comes to
    function independently, he will
    have the strength he needs.
    It's the same for people with
    challenges, or on healing
    journeys; we can help them,
    but we can't do it for them.

    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
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"Roadside Assistance" For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
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From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2019

Questions and comments welcomed.