I don’t kill spiders anymore

Hello and happy Sunday Funday. [Blogged while feeling v content on a Sunday bc my furlough starts tomorrow. Honestly, a break from chaos sounds nice. More on that later.]

Today’s post is a reflection on how I’ve grown into the animal-loving, spider-saving, tree-hugging minimalistic modern day faux hippie I am today.

Part I: Judgment and fear

Our best selves show up between the ages of fetus and 11. Because 12-year-olds start to suck and then the world starts to suck the authentic creativity, compassion and soul right out of us until the former is replaced with anxiety, fear and judgment. But one day, if you’re lucky, you’ll experience something that gives you the perspective needed to revert back to the spirit of that little boy or girl, just a little bit.

Which brings me to George. George was an enormous fucking spider that lived in my dad’s garage when I was a kid. He had a huge web on the door in the back corner that took up the whole window. I loved George. I named him. And when he was gone one day I was sad. Fast-forward to my teens and 20s where I would scream, “DAD,” and crinkle into mush at the site of any minuscule bug. Like, borderline clinical arachnophobia. It was embarrassing.

Now? I save spiders. I scoop up those little buggers (see what I did there?) and let them go outside. And after I post this, I’m buying one of these because I’m short.

You know what really bugs me? (MAN, I’m on fire.) When convenience wins over doing what’s right, and when people act out of fear instead of seek to understand. That’s exactly what I had been doing for years. Spiders were a scary looking, unknown creature who could attack me (HELLO the jumpy ones!?) at any time and I needed them out of my house ASAP. Squashing, vacuuming and flushing was more convenient than taking the time to understand what these little guys were all about. And that they also call this planet home. And that they’re not actually a threat to me. Who am I to kill them just because it’s easy and I can?

Many of you might be laughing at this and thinking I’m insane, and that’s OK. It’s also validating our societal paradigm that humans are more significant than other living things. And that it’s OK to act quickly and conveniently based on limited knowledge or fear, as long as it suits us. Sip on that.

Isn’t that the reason for so much violence and hate and badness? Judging something you don’t understand and assuming it’s scary and a threat, while believing you’re superior to whatever it is you’re “afraid” of, and then eradicating that fear as quickly as possible without thinking twice about who or what you’re hurting?

We’re all part of this planet. I think that’s most clear today than ever before. Big, small, human, animal, insect, plant, ocean. No one and nothing is more significant than another because we’re all here to keep this world moving and we each play a part in that.

So I challenge you to acknowledge and appreciate all the little things that make this planet thrive. And to connect back to your fearless and curious 7-year-old self who loved worms and named bugs. Bring that mindset into your adult world where politics and profit drive decisions because your curiosity and compassion is what will change them.

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