Learning to Fly – or – The Lesson in Struggling

You can learn to soar! But if it feels like you’re struggling in the process, don’t worry. Struggling can be an important part of growth, as this story illustrates:


Once a little boy found a caterpillar. He carefully picked it up, took it home, and asked his mother if he could keep it. She said he could if he would take good care of it.

One day the caterpillar started acting strange. The boy called his mother, who explained that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon and getting ready to become a butterfly.

The boy watched the cocoon every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day 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! The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He got scissors and 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 shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

The boy hadn’t realized that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the opening, were nature’s way of forcing the fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

– Anonymous

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