Saturday, 4 February 2012

The inspiring simplicity of insect strength

I once watched a beetle that had somehow got flipped over onto his back. His little legs were striving away, trying with all his might to right himself. To me it seemed hopeless, and I wondered why he didn't just give up. Strangely this little beetle was engineered in such a way that once he was on his back, there was just no way he could turn himself over.

Nonetheless, the beetle did not give up hope. He kept writhing his legs in an effort to flip himself. He never lost his faith. And he was right to persevere. Because I was watching him and, inspired by his efforts, I gave him the gentle nudge that he needed to get back onto his feet.

Without hesitation, the beetle scurried off, to carry on with his life as if nothing had happened. There was no trace of trauma from the potentially life threatening ordeal he had just experienced.

The insect reminded me of some of the most inspiring people I know. I don't think there's anything so beautiful as when someone responds to great adversity by getting back on their feet, dusting themselves down and gong back to doing what they love.

This doesn't always come easy for us humans. We are more complex than insects - capable of sophisticated insight and reflection. We can lose hope. We can experience fear and self doubt. We can be traumatized. We can give up. Whereas insects are far simpler creatures. They are not capable of any of these things. When they encounter adversity, they fight for their life until their dying breath. They never lose hope. They're incapable of it. Instead they persevere.

Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. We can over-think things and cloud the issue. But when we learn to accept the simple perfection of our life unfolding, we can connect with our own simple insect strength. The results are always inspiring.