A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its
cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to
get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and
remained absolutely still.
The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he
cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the
butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all
The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly
would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the
butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken
body and shrivelled wings, incapable of flight.
What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed
to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the
butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were
Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.
Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the
next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or
gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next
battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.