Wisdom from the Dung Beetle

dung beetle

My husband, Shawn and I were headed barefoot up to the beach for a stroll when he suddenly stopped me and pointed at the road.

What I saw, I kid you not, appeared to be a small piece of crap rolling itself across the street.

“What the hell?” I asked getting as close to a piece of crap a one can comfortably get.

I then noticed a beautiful iridescent insect, working diligently, pushing that tiny ball of doggie doo with all his little-bug might.

Shawn and I watched the guy for longer than I’ve ever watched a bug do anything…we were enthralled, captivated by his determination to manage something that the rest of us view as waste.

He eventually made it to the grass on the other side and we cheered for him (much to the confusion of passerby’s). Rather than stopping for a bow, he continued onward pushing that crap in the neighbor’s yard.

Now, I’m sort of weird this way… because in this moment of watching this dung beetle do what dung beetles do, I reached an epiphany…

“Holy shit….” I said aptly, “This dung beetle is me!” I looked at my husband who just smiled like he does when I don’t make much sense.

“No I mean it…my life… Here I am just thinking I’m doing something lofty and important, but in reality I’m just pushing a ball of shit around.

Sometimes I’m too introspective for my own good, and in this case it might have been true.

As a writer/stay-at-home mom I am not technically employed.  I write books, poetry, short stories, but I have yet to see my name in lights. I don’t have the great Amazon rankings and I’m putting in a hell of a lot of time for not a lot of money.

With the life of a dung beetle weighing heavy on my mind I did a Google search and sure enough our little green friend appeared on the screen. It turns out the dung beetle’s efforts are not fruitless. The beetles roll the poop to a safety then lay their eggs in it, insuring that their babies are born snuggled in tight in smelly, yet nutritious crap.

These beetles are not living the prisoned life of Sisyphus, forever rolling a rock up a hill, instead they have lofty goals. Dung is not dung to a beetle. It is food and it is a promise of a future for additional little crap rollers.

Similarly everything I write propels me toward something greater. Every book signing I do, every event I hold is part of this movement forward.   It is me laying the ground work, developing my platforms, increasing my repertoire.

So on those days that I feel like I’m just pushing doggie doo around I’m going to remember that small beetle, who never gives up. He knows that ball of shit he’s pushing around is worth a whole heck of a lot more than us humans think it is.

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2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on jorjao2013 and commented:
    This blog post is EXACTLY the wisdom that I needed to keep me motivated!! As a newby author the will and courage is a forever struggle! We love to write for ourselves, but when the project is finished what wait for reason!

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