The Bumblebee

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A bumblebee is banging its head against my window. Beside this window is an open one, but the bumblebee does not seem to see it. I want to guide it to the open window so to end its needless suffering but it may misinterpret my intentions and attempt to sting me. So I do not act but stay here and listen to its rhythmic crashes against the window, a melody connoting nothing but frustration. Yet it resonates with me. Does it, I wonder, understand that something transparent can also be solid? Or perhaps it believes that if it just hits the window enough times eventually this ‘invisible barrier’ will break. The latter idea appealed to me.
I close my eyes and begin to think of the times in my life when someone had to guide me - to stop me from repeating the same mistake again and again. I remember a basketball practice where I could not make a shot and I became angry with myself. My coach told me something that has stayed with me: “Think of every missed shot as a journey.” This alone liberated me - every time that one fails, in sport, in the classroom, or in life, that failure begins a journey of self-discovery that can only lead to a greater understanding of how to achieve success the next time. I remember when I friend I meet one summer would force me to go to talk to a group of girls with him even though at the time I was uncomfortable doing this. In the process, he taught to me to see the opportunities in life which I would have previously ignored. I remember how my math teacher would, in seconds, explain to me how to find the answer to a difficult question which I had long sweated over alone. I would always think after my teacher left me that, in retrospect, that the solution was actually easy to find. The problem was, of course, that I could not see it; I needed someone to show it to me.
These people did not have to help and if they had not I would be a worse person now. I did not have to that bumblebee either, but I needed to. In the same way that I need to put my arm around the shoulder of a teammate during a game and tell him “It’s alright” when he makes a mistake; in the same way that I need to tell the truth to a friend even when they might not want to hear it; in the same way that I need to lead a blind man across the street.
When I open my eyes the bumblebee is gone. It must have either found the open window or died in its attempt to find it. If it had died this way, I reflected, it would have done so with a clear conscious knowing that it gave its all. I smiled; there will also be times when I will need guidance and not receive it. I hope then that I will find the courage and luck that I need to carry on until I stumble upon the open window by chance. I like to believe that the bumblebee did.





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