THE BUTTERFLY STORY By Mwangi Ndegwa

I believe that most of us have, at one time or another in our lives, seen a butterfly. They are a beautiful sight...


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I believe that most of us have, at one time or another in our lives, seen a butterfly. They are a beautiful sight to behold with all their array of coloured beautiful wings dancing in the sun. However, there is one thing that many of us may not be aware of, and that is the process by which they get to this beautiful state. Naturally, butterflies go through four stages of life before they become the beautiful creatures that we see. I will go through all stages and the lessons in each one of them.

Stage One is the egg – An egg basically contains a life which is dormant. Once the right conditions are provided, the life inside becomes activated and it starts to grow to the organism it was naturally designed to become. This is the incubation stage and the life of an organism is at its most vulnerable state here and that is why there is a hard shell covering it. All of us start here. This is the stage at which we depend fully on our parents or guardians. All decisions are made for us and thus, we are never held responsible for them.

Stage Two is the larva – This is the stage at which we are exposed to life outside. This is when we start going to school all through to secondary level. It is here that we interact with people outside our family circles, make friends and generally, adapt to life outside our family comfort. This stage ushers us to the most risky phase of our lives because it is a make or break stage.

Stage three is the pupa.This phase is a dormant phase. There is no movement at all and any change that is happening is within the inside and is not visible to the outside world. This phase in human beings is usually very tricky because many either breakthrough or break down here. It is at this phase that one is looking for identity and the majority of the people here, are yet to decide on what it is, that they want to do in life. It is also an experimental stage and if proper guidance is not given, many slip here never to recover again. It is therefore imperative to note that many young people are at this stage and the evidence is out there for all to see. Alcohol and substance abuse is at an all time high now and the main culprits are, you guessed right, the young people around teenage to early adulthood. Much focus and care is supposed to be offered here as during the egg stage.

Stage four is the butterfly:This is the final stage and its also called the adulthood. At this point the full developed butterfly can fly and move to any place and even take care of itself. Between the dormant phase of a pupa and the adult butterfly,there is a very tough moment of transition. This is the determinant process because any mistake may cause the butterfly to never fly. There is a tough process of pulling itself out of the pupa casing. This pulling is important because it cleans off the some fluid from the wings and also gives it strength to fly.

It is very disappointing that many young people are not making it to this phase in life owing to a myriad of factors ranging from peer pressure to frustration, societal high expectations to loss of hope stemming from the seemingly hopeless situation displayed by our leaders. Parents also have a huge share of blame because they fail to direct young people and to support and encourage them when transitioning from pupa to larvae. We need to know that the challenges in today’s world are far more than during our parent’s time. To the young people, I leave you with these words: It may look like the situation is desperate at your stage however, remember that this is not permanent. It is just a preparation for the next stage. Don’t lose hope. Get a mentor to hold your hand and guide you through. Somebody who has been there and conquered will help you navigate the tricky challenges of life. Remember that the beauty of the butterfly is a process that takes time and challenges but the final outcome is determined by its perseverance. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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