Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Butterfly

I got myself into yet another abortion debate (I must learn to stay clear of these things, they take up too much of my time and nothing gets done in the house.) Someone made this comment, and I was reminded of the following story:
Because having a kid and dumping it in an orphanage is soo much cooler than an abortion... I'm rolling my eyes right now.

The Butterfly:

No one will dispute that butterflies are beautiful creatures. As we all know, this insect goes through a number of metamorphic changes before becoming a butterfly.

It starts off life as an egg before hatching into a larva. Interestingly enough, during this stage, it is not the beautiful insect we see flying around in gardens pollinating flowers.

Instead, the butterfly's larva is considered as a pest that destroys plants. Then the larva metamorphoses into a cocoon, laying dormant for a period of time. Later, we would see a small hole from within the cocoon where a butterfly would emerge.

This process of exiting the cocoon requires quite a struggle. It is a process that seems long and painful to the butterfly. Nonetheless, after going through the hardship, a beautiful butterfly would finally take flight.

To help us understand why difficult things happen to us sometimes, let us ponder upon this anecdote of the butterfly. A man was watching a cocoon of a butterfly for several hours. There was a little crack in the cocoon which the butterfly was struggling to force its body through.

Then it seemed to the man the butterfly had stopped making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

However, the butterfly had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly anticipating that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body which would contract in time.

None of these things happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready to fly once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never "fly", as in the case of the butterfly.

In a case where you have to choose between two wrongs, which do you choose? The worst wrong or the least wrong of the two? If unborn children were capable of choosing, would they choose abortion over an orphanage? (Assuming that they would be stuck in an orphanage - highly unlikely)

If you knew something long-lasting and unpleasant but bearable,(anything from war in your country to having to go to public school for 14 odd years) was going to happen to you, would you choose to be killed instead? Life is tough. That's how you form your character. That's how you become a strong person. Is it then right to kill someone in order to spare them (and perhaps others) some trouble? Take the easy way out? The epic movie the Lord of the Rings would have been quite the thriller had Frodo decided to give in to the Ring and its master right off the bat instead of doing what seemed utterly hopeless and yet was the only right thing to do.

What is a hero? Someone who chooses to do the right thing no matter how hard it is. Sometimes, they even give up their lives. (Not that anyone is asking anyone else to go that far - in a case where a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, if the baby dies in a procedure to save the mother, it is one thing. At least you tried.) People look up to heros. They want to hear their stories. They are amazed by the strength and courage of the hero, they want to emulate them. Noone wants to hear the story of someone who took the easy way out.

A butterfly struggles to get out of its cocoon. If someone came along, saw the butterfly struggling and decided to help it get out of the cocoon, the butterfly would never fly and it would die. It is the struggle to get out that gives it its "wings".

Is that what we are about? Creating a society of weak-minded people who take the easy way out, are afraid of difficulties and adversity, have a hard time doing the right thing if it presents a challenge, and will never have "wings"? Little wonder we have so many problems...