As I journey into introspection..."When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are then challenged to change ourselves."


Friday, April 11, 2014


Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
Sitting under a tree, deep in thought on a quiet morning, I heard a rustling noise above me.  I’m accustomed to birds playing in the tree so I paid it no mind.  Much to my surprise, moments later, something falls out of the tree onto my back.  I hear it land onto the wooden bench with a ‘thud.’  I jumped up—startled—and turned around expecting to see an injured bird.  Much to my surprise, and horror, I found instead a snake!

Now, not to be misleading, there are no poisonous snake species currently known in The Bahamas.  The snake was a racer.  Racers eat lizards, frogs, mice, other insects or even smaller snake species.  They are commonly referred to locally as garden snakes, because it’s not uncommon to find them hiding among leafy, low laying plants; particularly during the spring and summer months.

None the less; I’ve never been fond of nor fascinated with snakes and I was sufficiently frightened.  Apparently, so was the usually docile, two foot critter; as he opened his toothless jaws to hiss his warnings at me!  I didn’t dare move.  After a moments’ long stare-down, he dropped to his belly and slithered away.  It took me another moment or two to compose myself.  And I had to move away from the grassy area in an attempt to gather my sanity.

As my heart rate slowed, I began to think of the encounter with my new found slimy friend in terms of life…

Sometimes, we find ourselves at a place in life where we do not necessarily need to be, but still, we make no effort to be elsewhere.  If this is true in my life, then the same can be said for the snake as well.  I’m certain that it was not the snake’s intention to fall out of the tree onto his most fearsome predator.  And although—I would assume that if the snake had a brain—he knew that he was incapable of harming me; while I, on the other hand, could easily destroy him; he still choose to threaten me.  This is the nature of many people that we encounter in our lives…

Few people who challenge us have the ability to make or break us.  Those who do have the ability rarely pay us any mind at all; we are of no threat and no resourcefulness and therefore of no significance to them.  Yet, often times when we are challenged—because these snakes, who have no place in our lives to begin with, raise their heads and hiss menacingly at us—we conceit to them.  We give undeserving people power over us.

There are times in life, when it is necessary to be aggressive or to defend our positions aggressively.  People do not challenge our courage, they test our fears.  The more fearful we are, the less courageous we become; but courage is not possible without acknowledging our fears.  To be foolhardy is no less a vice than to be a coward.  But if we allow others to determine this for us, then the reward of virtue will be lost to us. 

Strength is not a measure of how well we can fight and win, it’s more so a measure of how wisely we pick our battles.

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nothingprofound said...

That was fabulous writing. You drew so many wonderful insights about human nature through your analogy with the snake.

Nevy Dames said...

Thank you very much Nothingprofound. :)