My daughter spotted a little sea creature struggling to return to the sea. We could see its little legs sticking out of the shell scrabbling about as it tried to right itself and move forward. But then a wave would come and wash it back again.
“Please pick it up and help it,”my daughter pleaded. But, as I watched, I noticed something interesting. The tide would ebb away and the creature would again put all of its effort into moving forward. Then the tide would come back and wash it back yet again but it never washed it back to where it started – it had always managed to move on a bit.
I stood and watched it, until, through sheer determination, it was back in the depths of the ocean.
Sometimes we have to downgrade for a while in order to upgrade. Sometimes we have to ride the wave and see where it takes us.
I thought about what would have happened if we had picked it up and helped it on its way. What if that had happened all its life? What if someone had always been around to help it get where it wanted to go without it having to struggle? It would probably never understand how determination and effort can achieve the seemingly impossible. But, what if one day nobody came and the little creature just sat there waiting for someone to help? It would be afraid of the unknown, not understand that sometimes it needs to make an effort itself and so it would be stuck and would probably die.
Sometimes struggling can make us stronger and more resilient.
People who live ‘safe’ lives, children who never have to do anything for themselves, people who are stuck in their ‘comfort zone’ – can they ever be truly successful?