Each of us can learn a great deal from the humble bumblebee.
In the 1930s the French entomologist August Magnan arrived at the profound conclusion that bumblebees, due to the established laws of physics, could not fly. Regardless to what his eyes witnesses, he claimed the size of the body verses the lift of tiny wings made such a feat impossible. And while the entire world continued debating the merits of this concept, the bumblebee kept busy by flying around expansive yards and flowering gardens.
Too many times in life we let others define what we can and cannot do.
Human nature is to avoid risk – the entire instinct for survival firmly located in our pesky ‘lizard brain’. And because of this doubting voice, we tend to find solace in those who tell us we cannot do something. Rejection or failure is just as painful as reaching our hand into an open flame. For many, you only need to get burned once or twice.
Fortunately the bumblebee never listened to August Magnan.
To be honest, I am just like everyone else – I’ve battled this natural instinct my entire life. Reasons, when more closely examined, were really just excuses dressed in sheep’s clothing. Fear is easy to learn – hard to break.
One night over dinner at home, my wife and I began laughing at how our daughter, sold candy door-to-door when in elementary school. Thinking back to when I was her age charged with the same task I was petrified to knock on a door to sell candy. Not for my fear of life, but for the fear of being turned down.
Our daughter, on the other hand, never really considered someone would turn her down. Even her pitch left little room for the homeowner to avoid buying candy.
“Hi, my name is Ally and I am selling candy bars for my school. How many boxes would you like to buy?”
And as I stood in the background, I watched full-sized adults melt in front of this determined little girl who never broke eye contact. Many times they’d just say “why don’t you pick out the one you’d like and I’ll buy it for you.”
There is no telling how many times she resold the same candy bar.
For me, when her age, my box of unsold candy sat quietly in the corner of the living room – never seeing the light of day.
But watching my daughter sell candy bars that day, acting like the bumblebee who never acknowledges that she couldn’t fly, I found myself growing as a person. Granted I was a fully-grown adult, carried a mortgage, and held a job, but this little girl was teaching me there really wasn’t much to fear in life. Sure, a few people said no, but she brushed each experience off like a pesky mosquito buzzing around her head.
And few minutes later, there she was at the next front door, standing tall and confident. And just like a bumblebee, she refused to listen to those who said she couldn’t fly.
– 30 –