Can Spiders Teach Us Something?

You’ve got to be kidding! A spider teach us something? No way! Patience, persistence, or the concept of a good work ethic are probably not the first words we think of when describing a spider. My apologies to all those with arachnophobia (fear of spiders).

I must admit that spiders are not my favorite bug. In fact, they are frequently quite annoying, particularly when they show up in unexpected places–like dangling from my rearview mirror on the way home from Mass. While I didn’t get into an accident (thank goodness), let’s just say that spider didn’t do that anymore!

I read an article, though, that described how spiders are very patient. It pointed out that whenever a spider’s web is destroyed, it patiently and persistently builds a new one. I thought about that for a bit and decided it certainly made a lot of sense. Now, if we are trying to get rid of spider webs, we don’t tend to appreciate their persistence very much!  But, spiders are patient, perhaps more patient than I would be if I had to constantly rebuild a web that someone was always trying to get rid of. Their webs do look pretty when the dew glistens on them in the sunshine, and I have to admit some of the intricate patterns are pretty fascinating to contemplate, unless of course I run right into one!

Another thing spiders can teach us is the value of a good work ethic. When they get their webs destroyed, they build again–out of necessity, of course–but without a good work ethic they starve. Laziness doesn’t build a web. The spiders have to believe for their next meal and hope that their web won’t get torn down, yet again. Like the spider, we also must have a good work ethic, believe for our next meal, and not be lazy. We must have hope that our dreams and aspirations won’t be shattered, again. A spider building a web is a lot like us sending a resume out on the worldwide web (pun intended) looking for a job. We put it out there and pray for a fruitful harvest, just as the spider builds his web and hopes for its next catch. Just as we must be persistent and patient if we are to get a job, so too a spider must be persistent and patient in their quest for a meal.

So, how does all this change our perception of patience? While having the patience of Job is all well and good, maybe we could all contemplate the patience of a spider. You see, God can use even bugs to teach us life’s lessons.

Copyright © 2017 by Theresa M. Williams

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How We Think Matters

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford

Have you ever thought of how negative–instead of positive–thinking by some now-famous people would have affected our world? What if Thomas Edison had given up on his experiments, specifically the light bulb and phonograph, or Louis Pasteur was not persistent regarding development of a rabies vaccine? Where would we be?

We’ve heard astounding stories of people who never gave up, whether it was a fight for survival, conducting an experiment, pursuing a dream of theirs or something else. The positive thinking, determination and persistence of others can change our world! If, however, they had given up due to negativity, laziness, lack of effort, etc., things would be much different.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s futile to keep going with a project, when it’s best to regroup and try again, or how to know if our contribution will even make a difference.

All we can do is what we can do. However, if we don’t try, we’ll never know will we? If we do try, even if we ‘fail,’ we will hopefully learn something. Who knows, depending on what it is, we can make a difference, whether it’s for a few people or many. Happy persistence!

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams