Caught in a spider's web
Today I watched a dragonfly caught in a spider's web. I stood there captivated as he struggled to get free. Again and again he would try to fly away only to be drawn back by the silky web attached to the small branches. I watched as a large spider, only inches away, also watched. He observed his prey wrestling to free himself. The spider would come forward, closer to the dragonfly and then quickly pull back when the dragonfly struggled to no avail to get free. It was as if the spider knew it wasn't quite time to attack and so he waited. Patiently he watched as again and again the dragonfly tried to free himself.
It is hard not to interfere
As much as I wanted to, I did not interfere. I watched and waited, fascinated by nature. To take the time to observe nature I know offers many powerful lessons. Unfortunately my lesson came in a different form.
Are we setting others free?
Another walker came by, curious about what I was so intrigued with. When he seen the trapped dragonfly, he grabbed a twig and broke the spider's web setting the dragonfly free before I could even blink or suggest he just let it be. The spider, the walker said, could find himself another victim.
What might happen if we slow down and connect first?
I walked away disappointed. The other walker wasn't interested in slowing down long enough to really connect with what was happening. He chose not to pause, to connect or to observe. He swooped in solving the "problem" and moved on his way. Was there really a problem? Is this not natures way? How many times do we solve problems in others lives before really figuring out what the issue is?
What do people learn from solving their own problems?
Maybe the dragonfly was just about to get away on his own, learning his own strength when he stays determined. Or, what if the spider had finally figured out the "right" way to catch a dragonfly? Those lessons were just taken away, suddenly by someone who failed to slow down and connect.
Are we being efficient by running around solving problems all day?
We are a world of problem solvers. Give us a problem and we will fix it. We will make everything “all better” so we can move on. We don’t have time to let things sort themselves out or to really get a better handle on it. We look more efficient if we move through our day solving problems quickly. But is this really the efficient way?
Slowing down allows us to learn from problems
Slowing down like this is not something I've always done or even do as much as I would like to now. Yet when I do, I realize the power of it and it connects me more to my purpose.
In order for me to teach that to others, I must first learn to do it myself. I must first learn to slow down, to connect to what is really going on. Then I teach that and I live that so that others may learn too. I do this so that individuals slow down, organizations slow down and the world slows down. In doing so, in slowing down, rather than fixing other’s problems, we learn with them. We provide the space for them to learn how take the best course of action or make the best decision rather than doing it for them.
Lessons learned from a spiders and a dragonfly
The lesson for me was in seeing how hard it is for the world to slow down. It was a great reminder for me that I need to continue with the work I do!
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