Monday, September 15, 2014

The Butterfly Teacher

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Sep 2014

A few weeks back I was sitting at one of the local restaurants awaiting my take away order to be ready. While sipping the tea ordered in between, I noticed an interesting paper lying on the table. It had a picture of a butterfly with numerous paths traced through its body and had a statement on top which said ‘Find Way Out’. 

Reminded me of the good old childhood when numerous such way finding puzzles were part of children’s magazines and was indeed a pleasure to solve each of them. It did not take much time for me to take out my pen and start tracing the path to find my way out of the maze. Needless to say I lost my way in between and at times the path took me to a dead end too. After a few attempts I was quite happy to have found my way out of the seemingly impossible task. I solved the puzzle and breathed an air of happiness. As if celebrating my success the hotel guys delivered my take away parcel at that moment of joy!

I drove back home with the parcel. That’s when I realized that the butterfly was also flying with me making me think about what just happened. She made me look back at my life which many a times is more like the puzzle that I now solved. We all try to find our way out of many such puzzles in life. Every day we face tasks that seem to be difficult. The challenge the butterfly keeps in front of us is to attempt finding a solution for these tasks. The secret lies in trying and once you are in the maze you need to find a way out.

Just like the paths that confused me in the puzzle, most of the challenges pose some sort of confusion. It is indeed a test to find the right way forward. You might suddenly hit a road block while you thought you were going ahead in the right path. The dead end does not mean it is the end of the world. What is important is to remember that a dead end also has a way to it. The way back. It is always a good thing to go back and learn from your own mistakes. Find the place where you took a wrong turn and correct your path from there. 

The butterfly tells me again that it is quite important not to lose hope if you don’t find the way out in the first attempt. The mantra is to keep trying till you find the right way. Guess what is the easiest thing to do when things go wrong? Feel disappointed and let go the challenge. That’s what everyone with a weak heart does in this world. It takes a bit of courage to say, there could be other paths that could help you to find your way out. 

There was another critical lesson the butterfly taught me. She said, many of us make a common mistake while treading the paths in our life. We all take the way forward and some of us are strong enough not to lose hope even if the path leads to a dead end. But a lot us do not look far ahead to make sure if the track we are on is really the right one. This piece of lesson is equally important as the earlier ones since this helps us to have a view of our life. 

Imagine constructing a house without drawing a plan. How do you think the house will end up finally? That’s why we invest in a good engineer to create a blue print and finalize the plan with the estimated cost before even starting the construction. Whatever changes that is required will be made throughout the project and finally we see an end result which goes well with the plan. How many of us apply this thought in our lives? How many of us draw plans for our lives? Do you invest time in doing this so that your path ahead is clear for you to proceed? 

I reached home along with these most valuable lessons the little butterfly taught me. Before saying goodbye to me she reminded me again of the three key things to be kept in mind. 

- There are challenges all around us. When you decide to face them, you have won half the battle.  

- Many a times you’ll hit a dead end. Remember to go back and learn from your mistakes to correct the path. 

- It is equally important to have a plan by looking ahead and make sure that the path you are on is indeed the correct one. 

I asked the butterfly what her name is. She smiled at me and before taking off she came close to my ears and whispered, ‘Gabriel’. 

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