Yes, through bugs! My theory is if you can teach kindness, gentleness, empathy, caring and compassion to the tiniest, most seemingly insignificant creatures, how much easier is it to transfer up to humans?
You may have seen this story. It happened here in Kansas and it breaks my heart. In a nut shell, three men robbed a woman as she was dying in her car at a drive through. It makes me wonder what is wrong with our world.
I feel like there's a callousness that wasn't there before or at least wasn't as bad. And it's not all as extreme and obvious as the example above. I see it in the Walmart. I see it when I'm driving. I see it at sports events.
And I know being kind to little old bugs is too simple to tackle the problem, but I have seen it soften Brady's heart and I think it would do the same for other kids too.
Our rule is simple: If we're not going to eat it and it is not harmful or threatening to us, then we leave it alone.
They're God's creatures too, after all, made for a specific role and purpose, important in their own way. In Genesis, it says: "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
I think that charge comes with responsibility, lots of it.
Instead of fearing them, killing them or considering them useless, we watch them, learn from them, even save them if we find them in our house. Again, if it's a roach, a brown recluse, a wasp, we will not save it. But any other spider or insect, we catch and release.
I have seen Brady use the kindest voice and gentlest touch with insects and it warms my heart. I know that when he can empathize with a tiny thing like that then he can do the same with someone he meets in the world.
Here are 7 ways we show appreciation to bugs:
- We watch and observe. We have learned so much from watching bugs. Tunnel spiders running out to grab prey. A group of ants hauling a dead wasp many many times their size into a hole in a building. Velvet ants running to and fro. Ant lions building their funnel-like traps in the dirt. Ants building a hill one pebble at a time. We once kept a cocoon in a jar and then let the moth that hatched fly away.
- We discuss their significance and how each one fits into the cycle of life on our Earth. What's their purpose? Why did God create them? Does their purpose help us somehow?
- We research and identify them, a fabulous science/environment/biology exercise.
- We save them when they are in our house. No creature is too small for compassion.
- We empathize. How would we feel if someone was cruel to us? Sure they don't have brains like us, but they sure do run or fly fast when something large is near. They shouldn't be minimized just because they're less complicated.
- We de-mystify. Wasps are scary but are they really roaming around just waiting for a chance to sting us? No. Take precautions and be careful, but don't assign evil intention to them.
- We have respect always even for the dangerous ones. We know that brown recluse spiders and wasps have a purpose in our world and are necessary. If they are in our space, we have no choice but to get rid of them. But we do not have to hate them.
|This cool guy lives at my brother's farm. He's a garden spider and harmless.
|I think these funnel webs are so pretty with raindrops on them. They're made by grass spiders. We've watched spiders scamper out to get prey.
|What must rain feel like pelting a guy like this?
|Ooh, he looks like a leaf! How cool is that!
|Here are those ants hauling the dead wasp up a wall. Look how many it takes!
|Awww, he trusted me! Well, maybe not trust, but at the very least I did not seem threatening at that moment.