Monday, 17 October 2016

What Is the Difference Between a Moth and a Butterfly?

Let's try some quiz: What is the difference between a monkey and a gorilla? OK that seems an easy one. Let,s raise the bar: Can you separate a jackdaw from a sparrow? Now that seems a tough call.

However, it is a simple thing for those groups of birds. They know who is a jackdaw and who is a sparrow. When sparrows are out there in the field playing, the jackdaws who like to court the sparrows would be playing close to the sparrows,. But the sparrows would always give them a safe distance. Message: "Keep off! We ain't buddies."

Now let's come to the narrative: What is the difference between a moth and a butterfly? These insects are commonplace but not all of us can spot the difference. And this led to the separation of two best friends.

It is from a story that I read way back in college. A group of students were playing in the school garden. Then one of them who claims to be the brightest biology student pointed to an insect on a flower and said: "That's the lovely butterfly!"

The group stopped momentarily to admire the insect. But then one of the students, the best friend of the bright student, disagreed and replied: "No, that isn't  a butterfly, it is a moth." The rest of the students took sides with him and chorused: "Yes, it is not a butterfly, it is a moth."

The first student felt hurt. This was his friend disagreeing with him and causing the others to shame him. "I am the best biology student," he said. "You dare not argue with me on this.. This insect is a butterfly, not a moth."

But his friend would not have it. "Being the best biolog student doesn't mean you can't be wrong. I maintain that this is a moth not a butterfly," said his friend. And then the other students joined with a much louder chorus: "Yes, it is a moth, not a butterfly." And then they left the bright student standing there wondering at the humiliation. 

He walked a few feet away and sat under a tree swearing. He looked at the rest of the students. They were looking back and laughing scornfully at his with his friend.

After a while, he got up and walked to take a second look at this insect. How can he be wrong? The insect was still playing atop the flower. As he looked it seemed to him that he may not be right after all. It seemed a moth, not a butterfly. And now he has lost a friend.

The moral of the story is that nobody knows it all.  We should learn from one another and accept when we are wrong whether at home, in business, and in politics.

Now, take another quiz: Is this post an article or an essay? "An essay," you reply. No, it isn't an essay, it is an article. Read it again for a second chance to redeem yourself.

Hopefully, you won't lose a friend!

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