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.
|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 M.A, © 2007-2019
Questions and comments welcomed.
It's the same for people with challenges, or on healing journeys. We can help them,
but we can't do it for them. Instead, as with giving the Butterfly to develop its
wings properly, so too, is it important to allow people to absorb, -reflect- and make
their progress their way, in their time - without pushing - or their journey will
become stunted. Gentle, gentle, is the way, with compassion, sensitivity and deep
empathy, both in our words as well as our actions and behaviour.
To approach it only with cold, blunt Logic and Rationality, in most cases, has the
same effect and consequences as blunt force trauma does to the body; only it tends
to go much deeper than that, with long-lasting, negative consequences for them
and interrupting, and often even halting, all healing progress.
Forgetting that, turns us into someone who instead of walking with the client,
into someone who is dragging or pushing them to go where they want them to go,
and how, when, and how fast.
Gentle, gentle is not what the unaware and unenlightened call, "molly coddling":
to do so is to reveal one's total lack of knowledge of the human mind and psyche,
as well as being unconscionably disrespectful of the client's personhood; it reveals
a deplorable lack of compassion, empathy and unconditional love.
Be kind, be compassionate, be gentle, my friend, those are the true
expressions of Love; we must truly walk our talk - or sit down.
Back to the Butterfly: So often, what seems harsh or cruel in nature, is
in reality wisdom and kindness for the time ahead.