If you've never heard of the Caterpillar Principle, don't freak out. Because it was just discovered last night. Dare to imagine with me:
Pretend you are an animal. A small one, preferably a squirrel or a chipmunk...but I'm not very creative, so think of something exciting.
You see two bugs. One is an ant. One is a caterpillar. Both the same distance away from you.
(I know, it's starting to sound like math problem already. Bear with me.)
Same amount of energy to get to both. So you choose the caterpillar. Because it provides more reward for your effort....obviously. (I know squirrels eat nuts. Focus here.)
There are times in my life when I've chosen the ant. And it's good, but afterwards I realized that I kinda sold myself short.
There are times in my life when I've chosen the caterpillar. And it's still good. Opportunity cost: worth it. Blah blah blah.
There are times, however, when I've reached the caterpillar and realized it was actually a butterfly. Better than anything I saw coming. And instead of being like "SWEET! I used practically no effort and got something AMAZING".......I find myself being willing to give even more. Suddenly I don't want to only travel the distance to the caterpillar, I want to be able to fly in order to not keep them on the ground.
Sometimes it gets me in trouble. Sometimes I'm willing to give more than the other person. My roommates tell me it's just my personality.
And other times, I get in trouble because people give me WAY more than I can ever return. Like Hannah, for example. She is the wind beneath my wings, and no matter what I do, I will never be able to repay her.
I've heard my whole life that any relationship you are in is supposed to be equal. So that you can learn to fly together.
I wonder if that's true.
And I wonder if it's possible. To have both people see each other as butterflies, to treat each other as butterflies, even if sometimes they act like caterpillars.
And then I remember my parents. The most awesome example I have of a wonderful relationship. And it gets me thinking: maybe relationships are a choice. And maybe relationships, as my mom has taught me, are always about giving. Maybe it's all just about what you want. Or what you see. Or what you are willing to give.
And I think sometimes you've got to take the great thing you have in your hands and learn to fly. And other times, you have to learn to be a butterfly on your own. -Chloé