Own My Growth

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Story Of A Dragonfly


At the bottom of a freshwater pond, there was a colony of nymph insects. Now and then, one of the insects would go up the stem of the water lilies to the surface of the pond and disappear. This intrigued all the other insects. Why is it that often, one amongst us goes up to the surface never to return? What is there out there above the water that is drawing some of us?

So once, one of the curious insects convenes a meeting of all the insects and tells everyone, ” we need to figure out what is there on the surface. Some of our friends keep going up and never return. I propose that we all take a pledge. Whoever goes up next to the surface will come back and tell us what is out there on the surface”. All the members of the colony agree to the proposal.

As luck would have it, the very insect that proposed the pledge gets an urge to go up the lily stalk the next day. It follows its instinct and goes up the stem to find itself on top of a lily pad exposed to the blazing sun. Under the intense glare of the sun, the insect finds itself immobile stuck to the surface. It thinks, “alas, I am dead, this is dangerous terrain. I should never have come up”.

Something sticky oozes from its body and envelopes it. A cocoon forms around the insect, and it is stuck inside. After a few days, the insect feels some sensations returning to its body. It feels like stretching and flapping its body. As it does so, it realizes that something has grown on its sides. The insect moves about with a little more energy, and the cocoon breaks away.

Suddenly as the intensity of the flapping increases, the insect takes flight majestically. It has metamorphosized into a Dragon Fly. In gay abandon, the Dragonfly flits above the surface of the pond, going higher and higher. As it does so, it can see its family of insects at the bottom of the pond. The Dragonfly remembers its pledge to its friends. ” I must tell all my friends how exciting the world on the surface.” In an instant, it swoops down towards the pond wanting to get back into the water. As the Dragonfly nears the water’s surface, the wings come in touch with the water. To its horror, the Dragonfly realizes that it cannot go back into the water. It can now only live outside. Instead of being an insect, it has transformed into something better, more significant.

In many ways, our lives are similar to the life of the Dragonfly.

  • All of us have an inherent potential to evolve into something higher. We all have a purpose in our lives. To grow to our potential and become something meaningful in our life. Our destiny is not to be an insect. We are born to be Dragonflies. The fire of aspiration needs to be kept alive in all of us. Only then can we push ourselves to go up the stalk and get to the surface.
  • When we back our aspiration with courage and action, we will encounter challenges. It will not be smooth sailing. But inherent in the problems is our metamorphosis and transformation. We grow out of our pain.
  • When real transformation happens, there is no going back. Change is real when our own past looks like it is someone else’s life or past.
  • When we evolve into something bigger, we will find ourselves cut off from our past. Often, some old relationships wither and get replaced with newer ones. This is natural. Much as we may want to go back, we will struggle to go back. We have to accept that as a natural consequence of growth.
  • When we grow to our potential, our life becomes an inspiration for those we left behind. They aspire to become who we are. 

That which does not change or adapt will die sooner than later. Change means growth. If you don’t embrace change, you don’t grow.

2 Replies to “Story Of A Dragonfly”

  • Very nicely explained, in very simple and easily understandable terms. I am very impressed.

    All the best. Regards to Kavita and the children. I have been listening to the children’s online concerts. Really nice.

    S. Venkateswaran

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