Surprising discoveries that lead to a more peaceful holiday season (and new year!)
I just learned a really interesting chance factoid. Studies have found that male fruit flies rejected by females drink significantly more alcohol than those that have “achieved their conquest”.
The world is so amazing in that way, where we can see a common household flying insect as a nuisance. A pest to be eliminated. And then discover that we have something so basic and primal in common with them.
And what does that mean? To me, during the holiday season — and, well, always –it means treating everyone in your life with the same consideration and respect you’d hope to receive yourself. Because on a basic level, for all the differences in our personalities and beliefs, we are all the same. We all have feelings, we all get hurt, and we are all impacted by the actions of those around us. If someone is there for you when you need them, be there for them. If someone reaches out to support you during your times of need, make an effort to do the same for them.
I don’t celebrate Christmas, myself. But I love the larger message behind the holiday. I love that it’s a day when we just all stop and slow down and take stock in all there is to value around us. There’s so much. And that muchness (so to speak) includes every single amazing person in my life. Everyone who has been there for me during this pretty-darn-awful year. And even those who haven’t. Because they too have taught me some hard lessons, and for that, I’m grateful.
I have a nearly pathological hatred of insects, myself. That said, I believe we can learn a lot from them -– they have covetable survival skills, and have existed on earth for something like 300 million years. That’s certainly more than us – it’s more than any species. And, in fact, they are the grease to the wheels of the cycle of life. Beyond the obvious – they are food to other creatures that are ultimately food for us. But whether they are whirling, buzzing, singing, chewing, or engaging in the mating game atop our wine glass, they are everywhere. We have only to open our eyes to watch and begin to understand them.
It’s so easy to sweat the small stuff, and throw shade at things or people that think or feel differently than we do. It’s so easy for some people to close off their hearts and delete entire parts of their life in the blink of an eye. To treat human beings as a formerly favorite food that they’ve now lost the taste for. But it’s a chance moment like that – seeing a fruit fly appreciating a dry martini just as much as we do – that shows us that as many differences as we all have, we have that much in common. There’s reasons to appreciate and respect even the smallest insect — because of those differences, and those similarities, and how they all work together to make all of our lives exist in tandem. All I want for Christmas — or the season of love, rather — is for people all around us to be more like that.
I try to consider this when someone thinks or acts in a way I can’t understand. You need to be different for all the reasons you actually are the same. Or, perhaps the greater message? For all that we can’t agree on, we can all come together and agree on one thing: A stiff drink.
Happy holidays, everyone! I love and appreciate you all!