Saturday, June 9, 2012

Butterfly Wings

There's this story that somebody told me one time, and since then it's made the rounds on facebook several times, and it's all over the internet. You can see one version of it here:

The story in short is this: A man sees a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon and tries to help it, with really pretty heartbreaking results. 

In some versions of this story, the butterfly dies immediately. In other versions, it just wanders around crippled for its short miserable life, but in either case the moral of the story is that we need to struggle in order to gain our wings.  

It's one of those stories that has become ubiquitous precisely because of the comfort and even some degree of justification it  offers to those of us struggling or close to someone  who's struggling, which is to say, everyone. And you know, it just sounds so damn inspirational. But here's the thing -- I am not a butterfly. 

I'm pretty sure I won't suddenly die or be crippled if someone offers me a helping hand now and again, nor do I believe my help dooms another to a life of flacid mediocrity or, you know, death. In fact, as I sit here thinking about this, I realize that just the opposite is true. The reason I've made it this far, and have accomplished anything at all with my life is because at every critical juncture, someone was there to encourage me, to support me, and to assure me that in fact I do have wings and that it is my birthright to soar. 

So, to those of you who have been there in the past and to those of you who are here now, love and gratitude. 

Bless you all.