ZGAGA

About me, non-profit projects and fundraising

What do you think of, when you hear the word pearl? Do you think of something beautiful? Something pinkish? Something shiny?

I think of a picture drawn way back by my neighbour in my book of memories wishing me all the best and that my life would be full of pearls.
Then I think about a live online seminar held by the late Tony Elischer (an exceptional fundraising coach I had the privilege to listen to) who told a simple story about the pearls that everyone should hear. Namely, when we admire a pearl we see its full beauty, its pricelessness, its uniqueness. But then he exposed that a pearl is actually a big obstacle to the oyster and trying to get rid of it and protect itself, the oyster surrounds it with its nacre. The years pass and the oyster makes a beautiful pearl, layer after layer of nacre. Nobody knows if this is painful for the oyster, but for sure it makes the oyster a lot of a hard time. A long hard time, a lifetime of hard time.
And the result of this struggle is so gorgeous and shining. We know its worth. We treasure it. Maybe with knowing this story even more.
But isn’t like this with all the things we do? Aren’t we like the oysters every time? Sometimes we get such big stones to turn into pearls that we end up in despair. In the end, we cut the task in smaller steps or we find some help and we do it. We manage it. Every time. Because we think it is worth it. And we are always right.
Many times we ask ourselves if we really have to do it. And if it weren’t better if we let someone else do it or just leave it like this.
In these time we have to remember the pearl. Apparently there must be some hardship to appreciate the result. We have to try hard to reach our goal, that we will admire in the end. Reaching of the goal will give us self-confidence and boost our energy to reach even higher next time. To take on a bigger stone to turn into pearl.
Let’s go and work hard. Something beautiful will come out of it. Now we know that for sure.
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You’ve probably heard the famous proverb about trying to sleep in a room with a mosquito. Well, if you haven’t maybe this African proverb, sometimes attributed also to Dalai Lama is for you.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

You probably think to yourself: Come on. This is so true. Everybody knows how disturbing it can be. And how it makes us react. We freak out. We get scared of a tiny insect. Funny, huh?
At this moment I am in a room with a mosquito. It is tiny and waiting for me to become its food. I hear it coming near and again flying back. Something one can get used to if it persists.
But, do you ever observe how the human race tries to exclude everything that is natural from our lives? Let’s chop down this wood and build a concrete wall or, even better, a block of concrete flats. Let’s just exclude the nature. Let’s make every single thing controllable, predictable, easy to cope with and/or to avoid.
A mosquito in our room is a sign that we are not really successful in blocking out the nature. Is this why we react? Is this why a small insect makes us freak out? The nature still surrounds us and carves our lives, even though we think we are dealing with an easily manageable task. The mosquito problems we solve by buying repellents, anti-mosquito nets, lighting anti-mosquito candles and bracelets.
But they just keep buzzing around us. Warning us of their possible sting. Nothing seems to stop them. And we feel helpless.
It’s not that we are too little and not powerful enough. It’s not that we can’t fight. It’s that we haven’t yet learned to accept that not everything will be the way we want it to be.
And the proverb quoted, in fact, proves one more time that we should learn from nature, as we are a part of it. We should learn nature’s tricks. It means, we can be as little as a mosquito, but also as powerful when we want to make a change.
The mosquito in my room apparently doesn’t intent to stop buzzing. So, what the hack. I join in by writing this to you. This is they way I buzz. Maybe the lesson this mosquito is trying to teach us is that also our presence can make a difference.
So, there’s is only one thing to do. Join in. Let’s all buzz and see what happens. Nothing bad, probably. We can expect some harsh reactions, thou.
And I am cheerfully looking forward to observe them.

Travelling the island of Mallorca, I was warned about the dangerous moths, called Pine Processionary. The moths aren’t as dangerous as their caterpillars, which to survive eat almost all the leaves of pine trees and consequently the tree dies as he cannot take advantage of the energy from the light of the Sun.

The purpose of these lines is not to teach you biology, but to point out one really interesting feature these little creatures have. Namely they travel together. With the pheromones they secrete at their bottom they attract the other caterpillar that sticks its head to their bottom and so they form a long line following each other, each one sticking its head into the bottom of the caterpillar in front of it. That is why they are called processionary caterpillars.
This is how they travel long distances, slowly, to get food or to the place where they turn into cocoons and eventually become moths.

As they choose to travel up the trees, one of them sometimes falls down.
Maybe it wasn’t consistent enough in smelling the colleague’s ass. One could say it was expelled from the line for not following the rules.

When it falls down, an interesting thing happens. The caterpillar joins with other caterpillars that for some reason left the line and offers its bottom to be smelled. The caterpillar then takes charge of leading the other ‘dropout’ caterpillars and brings them to the destination.

The lesson I have learned from the behaviour of these caterpillars is that no matter how different you are from those around you, you will always find a company that will think and do the same as you. Maybe it is not you who will actually lead the movement of the new group, but it is highly probable you will feel accepted and become a better you.

So sometimes it is good to fall if we see we don’t want to climb the high tree like the others do. We will recover and follow our path a bit differently and in the company of people who are more like us.
What else is there to wish for on our important quest?
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