The sanctity of the struggle

by admin on July 7, 2011

“Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” – Shelby Steele

One day, a man found an emperor moth cocoon. He took it home so he could witness the emergence of the moth within. The next day a small opening appeared, and he watched for several hours as the moth struggled to force its body through the opening.

The moth seemed to be stuck. It appeared to have stopped making progress. It looked as if it could go no further. The man wanted to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped open the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily, but its body was swollen and small. Its wings were wrinkled and shriveled. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand and the body would contract. Neither happened. In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

The man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand that the moth’s struggle to escape the cocoon was a necessary part of the moth’s life. Emerging from the cocoon would have forced fluid from its body to its wings, preparing it for flight. Freedom and flight could only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

Like the moth, we’re sure to encounter obstacles in life. But when we understand the value in the struggle, and when we use hope to guide our actions, we allow ourselves to be strengthened by the experience and emerge much stronger. And it is then that we can truly spread our wings.

Note: original author of this story is unknown.