“The caterpillar has to suffer silently in a cocoon in order to become a butterfly. Change is painful in the beginning but it’s worth it in the end.”

~ Jaykaran Sagar

First a little story:

“Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.”

I chose this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday blog post where Shackman and I write on the same topic as I have noticed that between the two of us, we have had many similar experiences notably, many changes. We have played different games, got hurt, shifted residences a number of times, our wives have had to change careers, we did too and we both had to be primary caregivers to our wives and we lost our wives despite such caregiving too.

In all these shared experiences, the running refrain has been change. Situational, physical, relationship concerned and even in careers. Both of us have had to undergo many cycles of metamorphosis and I most certainly think that both of us have used the various metamorphosis experiences to come out stronger.

And, serendipitously, Ekoshapu had this up on his blog yesterday!

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

~ Robert Frost

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same subject.

9 thoughts on “Change.”

  1. Wow, this is far better than my commentary but I have given away far to much about myself lately so I took a completely different tact. You have a far more philosophical view of the world than I

    1. Actually I found your take very refreshing as, I have been reading mostly Washington Post and The New York Times from the USA and The Economist from The UK. So, your approach was somewhat different to what I am used to. Thank you, I am indeed far more philosophical than most people!

  2. My personal life experiences have been filled with change on many levels. I’m convinced my attitude toward seeking the positives accounts for my survival to the present. No doubt genetics, environment and those I’ve encountered in my life account for how my outlook has developed, for which I can be grateful.

    I do agree, the adaptations, sometimes struggles we experience can allow us to become butterflies. I do feel some concern presently about who may be using scissors or other cutting devices on our cocoon and how they’re being used.
    Joared recently posted..WETNESS — TESTIMONY — MADNESS

  3. I’ve read many variations of this butterfly story over the years. And have learned myself that change only happens through pain and labour. I am dealing with some people in the throes of addiction at the moment and there is nothing I can do, they have to suffer in withdrawal for the coming into the light to be achieved.


    1. I can relate to your experiences with people in the throes of addiction. I understand what it must cost in emotional disturbance. I am mentoring some young people with recovery and marital problems and see this process playing out.

  4. I think it’s true that I’ve learnt more from situations where I have to struggle than from ones where everything goes smoothly. I had a difficult and challenging childhood which must have helped me to become a more mature adult. I feel sorry for kids who’ve been spoilt rotten and given whatever they want and who have a nasty shock when they have to fend for themselves in the outside world.

    1. A very insightful observation about spoilt kids. We read regularly about such characters getting into serious road rage and other instances of violence and even death here. Does not seem to make for lessons for other such privileged kids.

  5. Hi Rummy,

    That is exactly it! This story has many messages but the main two are struggle is good for development, for evolution, for growth and the completion of all the previous ones, and good intentions often produce bad results (good intentions here should be replaced with meddling which more often than not also produce bad results).

    Humans need to learn the fine art of just observing life unfolding and progressing without interference (and this is very hard to do especially when certain Religions teach that they are to interference and try to alter outcomes with a simple prayer…complex, wouldn’t you say?).

    Cheers, my friend

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