These two would be an odd couple if paired together and honestly the chameleon would eat the butterfly, so that’s not really where we are going in this comparison. Not only are they very different as far as species goes, there are also some very profound differences in their development from conception to adulthood.
Let us consider here some of the very key characteristics of each one. Those differences are so unique that they are profound and worth taking into account. We should, for all intents and purposes, skip over the obvious and move straight to the point.
First, the Chameleon has the ability to change its appearance to match the surroundings in its environment. So strange a feat yet, it is what ultimately allows it to survive. If it cannot be seen, it cannot be eaten. Apparently they are quite tasty to birds and other animals. In the animal kingdom survival is the key.
The Butterfly, on the other hand also uses camouflage, but mostly in its second developmental phase as the larvae or caterpillar. The Caterpillar spends and inordinate amount of time devouring leaves. So for the most part it is the same color as the leaves, but not always. Apparently caterpillars can be quite nasty tasting in some cases so that also helps them to be left alone.
From many different species, genus, families, orders classes, phylum, kingdoms and domains there are many similarities that ring true in principle and can transcend the order set forth in differentiating among the creatures on Earth. Nature is a great gift that we as humans will do well in preserving, because it is the interaction of all of these phenomena that makes life in general possible. We also do well in preserving one another, because there is always a part of us that is dead if we are not social.
However, for our point here the two differences that we will pin point is that; 1) the Chameleon changes color to blend in with its environment; and 2) The Butterfly goes through three distinct stages of development and undergoes a very dramatic change that we seldom see elsewhere in the world in general.
Many people can mimic the characteristic of changing (not their color so to speak) but their personality to fit in with their surroundings. Human behavior is so complex that it would be impossible to cover the more specific dynamics for this purpose, but to make the point; many people do this to survive socially.
There are people who in fact may not have a true identity of their own because they must change in so many ways in so many different settings. This is a tragedy. We have been created uniquely as have many other species. However, survival in social circles is critical to our being. As with many other species we are social creatures. Cultural, socio-economic, familial, educational and environmental factors merge with our genetics and sometimes the song that emerges is of tragedy and sometimes it is a symphony. Having said that, our intelligence and ability to transform ourselves can transcend such barriers and as a human being we can have tremendous power over our life.
Secondly, let us consider the butterfly. The butterfly starts out as a caterpillar and through one of the most unique and stupefying feats enters a cocoon and emerges an altogether different looking creature than the one it started out as.
When we parallel the life of the butterfly to our own lives, we can make the association to our own path in life. We may start out in life as something we did not choose to be, in a place we wouldn’t want to be and in situations and circumstances that we wouldn’t choose, even if somehow we may have some type of reward for putting ourselves there on purpose.
However, there is something greater to observe, that is, what the butterfly will become is what it will become. No one can stop that process. If we as humans interfere with the butterfly’s developmental process it will die. We would do well in taking this to heart when dealing with our fellow man. Left to nature the butterfly will emerge a beautiful winged creature that spreads those wings once it emerges from its pupa. In fact the wings must be spread to dry. If that process is impeded the butterfly will have crumpled wings and will not be able to fly dooming it to death as well.
Finally, Each one of us has a path, a developmental process that we must go through and emerge from. At any point along that path it would do us well to remember that we are all on that path and do even better to not interfere with another’s development; just as we should have the courtesy to develop unencumbered. As the human race, if we think about these points we can become aware of these processes in our fellow men and allow and encourage a person’s path and development. There are many crushed and broken souls in this world. But, those souls have hope as they have not yet emerged and can enter into their pupa and heal. While encased in a protective coating that is unaffected by the outside world the can receive healing and change. Once made whole that person can emerge spread their wings and fly into their destiny. Unlike the butterfly, we may have several of these pupa stages in our lives. It is our healing; it is our solace form the world around us.
The story of the butterfly is so beautiful and the parallel to our human path so profound.
If you are wounded and hurting build your pupa and heal. Decide that you will be what you were created to be. When you emerge and your wings have dried know that once you can fly you can easily escape many troubles that may come your way. Not only that, you can move about unencumbered by the inhabitants of the ground, the earth dwellers, soul killers and beasts. As you fly high in the air soaring in your destiny your freedom will be apparent to everyone. Just as we may catch a glimpse of a butterfly passing by our own way and marvel at its beauty, let us encourage and comfort one another in healing and developing into being all we were created to be. Let us marvel at the sight of our own soaring and do the same for others.
You can be a chameleon, ever changing and never knowing who you truly are eating up and all the caterpillars and various creatures. Or you can choose to become a butterfly. The most important concept to remember is that you are the one who has that power. Don’t give that power away to anyone else; guard it as you would your most precious belonging because it is. We only have one life to live. Spread your wings and fly butterfly for the entire world to see.