The world was cruel to the worm.
It was a tiny little thing, and the world was not. It was a simple insect, crawling wherever it could, but everything else was complex. The environment was tough, and competition was stiff.
So many worms in the world, so many predators. So many rules to follow, so many functions to perform. But if God was it’s creator, then he wasn’t a very good one. Or maybe the worm was supposed to be some sort of an inside joke. But nobody was laughing, least of all the worm.
I mean, it was supposed to be simple. Just survive. That was the only rule. No matter how big, how scary, how complex the world, the only goal was to survive. The only function? Survive. The only rule? Survive. The only thing to do? Survive. And God’s close pal Nature had gifted the worm one simple thing: the ability to do so.
In every green cell that this worm possessed, one thing had been encoded: how to do so. And it wasn’t that difficult, the worm was told. All it had to do was eat, sleep, try to avoid the predators and repeat. Somewhere in between, reproduce. And of course, for some strange reason, this worm had a challenge added to its existence: it had to encompass itself into a cocoon before it could reach its full potential and fulfil its purpose in Life.
Funny thing: nobody told it why. Only how. And sometimes, as the worm chewed on a particularly tasty piece of leaf, it would wonder this exact thing. Why was it so important to reach its full potential? Why couldn’t it just… Exist like it did. Comfortably, following the same routine…. This was easier. Building a cocoon, hibernating in it, growing out of it… All this just to fulfil whatever grand purpose it had in Life? BOH-RING.
And then the day came. It had eaten too much. There was no choice but to build itself a cocoon. And it did the exact same thing. It still did not know why. Only that it had to be done. So it did. And what would you know? The cocoon was comfy. It was perfection. It was the best place in the whole wide world.
The cocoon was safe. And the worm had eaten enough for a seemingly long lifetime. There was no way it would ever need to get out of this thing. It no longer cared what God wanted. Or expected Nature wanted from it. If this was survival, then this is where it would spend the rest of its life.
But this is not a game. This is Life. And Life is meant to be lived to fulfil. Many waste away in the pursuit of finding a meaning to fulfil. And then further trying hard to fulfil it. And here was the worm, being told what it’s meaning was, what it’s purpose was, and yet, it was not even attempting to meet it.
A thought popped into its head. Even if the worm decided to embrace the pursuit of meaning, how would it do so? I mean, it knew it had to get out of the cocoon to reach its full potential. But nobody had told it how to do so. You couldn’t just get out of the cocoon. It was comfy, safe and secure for a reason. And breaking the cocoon open was just absurd and silly. That couldn’t be the right way to get out…….. Could it?
No. No. Please, no, it pleaded. Not the cocoon. What about all these rules? What about all this that the worm had built? And besides, the worm had stayed in its comfort for so long that it did not even know how to do anything else anymore. Destroying the cocoon was next to impossible.
The worm wasn’t proud, but it was now thoroughly sad. And angry too. Is this what life was all about? Where was the sense of freedom? Where was the control over its own life that the worm had always missed? What was the point of it all?
And then it heard a voice. The worm did not know whose voice it was. Maybe it was God. Maybe it was its inner mind. Maybe it was just wind outside the cocoon. It only said this: you will never know unless you try. Stop trying to find a meaning to your life and start creating one. Stop trying to do what you think you’re meant to do and do what you actually want to.
Break through the cocoon, even though its going to be the hardest thing you will ever have to do, not because it’s the right thing but because it’s the right thing for you.
And the worm obeyed. It still did not understand bits and pieces about Life. But that was the point: it didn’t care anymore. The worm would do whatever it wanted to.
And so it did. It forced itself out of the impossibly hard cocoon. It had finally reached its full potential – that of being a butterfly.
The worm flew away.
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