Learning from a dung beetle?
I see someone laughing already and wondering:
“What on earth can I learn from a dung beetle?”
Well, let’s see.
As I hurried out towards the market place few days ago, I was surely enthusiastic that I could be inspired by one thing or another but certainly, I wasn’t thinking of a bug that roles feces from one place to another. But as I walked fast in a bid to stay less longer under the scorching tropical sun, I was forced to stop and watch in amazement the event that unfurled on the grassless road.
I found myself staring for about 30 precious minutes at the bug that was a bit smaller than my thumb as it struggled to transport its bounty to where I believe it knew. I immediately recognized the dark bug as a dung beetle and of course the load it was pushing with its hind legs while its fore legs were on the ground, was nothing else but a spherical ball of feces (shit). The load was about 3 times the size of the insect! Hold on.
The bug was doing the transport alone. The road was broad and frequented by vehicles and pedestrians. In fact I almost crushed the insect if not that I was quick to divert my match.
Another striking thing I found was that although Mr. Dung beetle was rolling the dung ball uphill and was on one side of the load, pushing while its front pair of legs and its head was on the floor and facing the opposite direction, there was an amazing accuracy in how the insect maintained its straight line of travel. It was so precise that when the ball rolled off the line, the insect stopped and adjusted the ball till it was back on track.
As I stood watching, the insect several times lost hold of the ball and the ball rolled far off track and twice it rolled backwards about a foot or two (back to where the insect had earlier struggled past. Each of those times, the insect sniffed around with great haste and zeal. And again it found the ball and the hauling continued.
So did my little friend struggled past the open road where it was open to danger of being crushed, and it continued into the nearby bush: Pushing relentlessly.
I decided to search Mr. Dung beetle out on the internet and guess what I found:
The bug that is scientifically called Scarabaeus vittei has some of these amazing behaviours:
1. Most species find dung using their very sensitive sense of smell while others patiently wait beside the dung providers (mainly livestock ); once they get the dung, they begin rolling it and then BEGIN TRANSPORTING THE BALL ALONG A STRAIGHT LINE DESPITE ALL OBSTACLES!
2. The beetles that make a ball are VERY FAST to roll the ball of shit they made away from the pile of dung because there are usually some other dung beetles who wait around to try to steal from them!
3) Dung beetles can roll up to 10 times their weight. Male Onthophagus taurus beetles can pull 1,141 times their own body weight: the equivalent of an average person pulling six double-decker buses full of people!!!
4. The beetles either eat the feces ball or bury it and use it to brooding place for their eggs. They either roll alone or in pair. When in pair, they are usually a male and a female. The male does the main labour while the female follows behind (probably encouraging him : ) ).
At times the female may assist in the labour and the move till they find a soft ground, they both then dig the ground and bury the ball. When the have done that, they then proceed to mate, the female later lays her eggs in the ball and they both will wait for the offspring to develop.
WHAT I LEARNT
We all have our different purposes. Some may have to go far to get theirs whilst others may have to be patient in their immediate surroundings to find theirs but in any case, we MUST KNOW WHAT WE WANT IN LIFE AND BE VERY SENSITIVE TO GRASP IT WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY COMES. We have to daily develop our sensitivity and keep hope alive so that once the opportunity comes, we would grasp and roll.
Just like in the case of our friend ,the bug, we must understand that there are people out there whose aim is to steal the product of others’ hard work. They specialize in lurking around, pretending to be doing something worthwhile and waiting to take away after as some other people have gathered and rolled. Hence, we must watch out and be careful in our daily dealings. And not only carefulness but also prayerful because most treasures are first stolen in the spiritual before the physical. “The enemy comes not but to steal, kill and destroy”.
You must be Responsible to get what you desire. It is very easy to try to blame others for our predicament in life. Easy but irresponsible. The dung beetle thrives on being responsible and carrying its cross. Even with a pile of feces on the ground, it only takes as much as it can carry and hurry off. Business before pleasure. It stands firm against any other bug that dares to waylay it. It only allows a partner if it considers it necessary. So many times in life, you will have to stand firm for what you believe and want- so long as it is right from the love view.
How big is your goal(s)?
Our little friends can carry 10 to 1000 plus times their body weight. Everything is possible. It all depends on our approach and view. Don’t be mediocre in setting goals. No man can be exceptional if he doesn’t set goals that exceed the capabilities of his status quo. Set goals from the point of possibility not the opposite.
It’s true you have to be realistic but be daringly realistic. Set goals that will make the ordinary person think you are crazy!
And then work at it. Start rolling! Don’t be afraid because later you will find that there is a large reserve of all the resources anyone needs to achieve whatever they desire and strive for.
It’s there, waiting to be summoned. And interesting enough, the greater your visions, the more resources are made available. The more your knowledge and believe of this fact, the easier it will be to access this resources.
Singleness of purpose.
If you’ve been to the zoo, you know that the elephant can excrete a big deal of excreta. The beetle could decide to make a ball, move it a bit and then return to take more and more but it doesn’t. It grasps that one chunk and makes a ball out of it and focuses wholheartedly on that goal till it lays it to rest – accomplishes that mission. Some of us can take a clue here. Yes there are many things a person can achieve during a life time and the energy of youthfulness makes this even more lucid, but it would be easier if one develops a mission statement, a central theme around which all one’s endeavours must revolve.
When that theme is gotten, it can be broken down to phases or goals. One goal should then be focused on, with zest and determination, held tenaciously till you lay it to rest.
One goal at a time, many goals over time, single purpose.
We’ve seen how dangerously determined our bug friend can be. It travels in a straight line NO MATTER THE OBSTACLE says Wikipedia and of course confirmed by me. When you’ve found that purpose, stay tuned to it.
Obstacles teach us some lessons that school could never. Make judicious use of them!
Integrity or straightforwardness is paramount. Don’t be crooked. Stand for good and stand for it for good. You integrity shouldn’t be negotiable.
YOUR PURPOSE SHOULD BE ACCURATELY FIXED TO THE EXTENT THAT EVEN IF YOU ARE BLINDFOLDED OR WALKING FORWARD WHILE FACING BACKWARDS (like the beetle ), YOU CAN STILL LOCATE IT ACCURATELY. Just like the dung beetle.
Scientific research has has shown that the Scarab, as it was know in ancient Egypt, uses the polarization effect of the moon and our Milky way galaxy to set its destination. We must have a purpose, a destiny that is fixed on heights above. The Maggi that are credited with finding the exact location of Jesus after His birth were able to find him by focusing on the star that was fixed up above.
THE UPWARD AND FORWARD LOOKS ARE THE BEST, NOT THE SIDEWAYS
What else… Ok. Relevance.
The dung beetle saves the U.S.A a screaming over 300 million dollars each year by helping bury dungs that would have constituted pollution and breeding ground for pest of livestock. The beetle is being introduced in many countries for environmental and agricultural benefits.
Lead a purposeful and responsible and determined life, do your best. Fame and wealth will come. Your driving force should the zeal to be and give your best. You will find joy only by giving joy. Wealth and fame will come as normal products. The Hausa of Nigeria call it JARA.
To be continued….
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