Depending on where in the world you are, you either have fireflies or you don’t and you probably call them something else. I know my US friends call them lightening bugs. Whatever your name is for them I think we can all agree that they are absolutely mesmerizing to watch. Si?
So here in beautiful Guatemala, we have tons of fireflies. I’m ridiculously happy about this. I can sit in my backyard and watch these cute little buggers (pardon the pun) all damn nite. Every now and then, one makes it into my apartment. One night while laying in bed I watched one blink across my bedroom ceiling as I gently fell asleep. It was pure bliss.
So besides stunning fireflies, we also have a shit ton of really creepy critters. I mean I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across something and shouted “wtf are you???”. Yup. Many many times. Those fuckers die with no mercy.
Let’s get back to the fireflies. So when they aren’t blinking brightly and beautifully they are really creepy looking. The ones here are anyway. I have a confession to make. If I see something ugly with wings, antennae and more legs than it should legally have, I annihilate it. Plain and simple. No questions asked.
And one day, you guessed it, I smashed an unblinking firefly to death. The one thing about fireflies is that just as they are about to die, they blink. It’s like their cry. It’s like their final call, their final words “but why did you do that? You love me. I’m beautiful inside”.
It got me thinking the other day when I killed him (and then immediately shrieked in shame) that without giving it a chance, without taking a second to really look at this character, I killed it. Before it even had a chance to show me the beauty it had to share with me.
How often do we do that to people? They look ugly (and I don’t mean that in a mean way-perhaps I could have chosen another word but I use it to really drive this message home), they look creepy, scary or “not normal” and we immediately kill them before we even give them a chance to share their beauty with us.
We don’t give them a chance. We snub our noses at them. Discard them. Pass them by without any warmth or love or compassion. The homeless, the poor people, the beggars and other human beings that make us feel slightly uneasy because of their appearance.
Nope, they don’t stand a chance with us. Each and every one of them has some beauty, some good inside of them, some bright light inside of them that shines if only we would stop to see it.
But we don’t.
Instead we smash them. And they cry. They just want us to stop killing them and take a second to see the light in them.
Let the death of a firefly be a lesson to all of us. We should not be so quick to smash people.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.