Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

WHAT BUGS YOU? – by Beverly

on 09/07/2015

B. J. Tiernan, author of Standing on a Whale, is my guest today. She has taken quite a unique approach to what bugs her in life. It may make you smile, but it will certainly make you think.


By B. J. Tiernan

Today I have come to elevate the Cockroach. The Cockroach has been one of the most despised insects in the world for centuries. I have always been one to defend the absent or play the devil’s advocate, so I believe it is time to lift this little survivor up and away from the wrath it has faced and endured in this world.

Did you know that Cockroaches can live for almost a month without food, about two weeks without water and they can live for up to one week without their head! Imagine a human trying that! Cockroaches can hold their breath up to 40 minutes and can run up to 3 miles an hour. Cockroaches have even added significant value to the medical world. Few people know that Cockroach brains contain nine antibiotic molecules that have the potential to cure some of man’s most dreaded diseases. These antibacterial molecules are more powerful than the antibiotics we use today. In addition to their healing power, cockroaches have the ability to survive most nuclear explosions and have inhabited the earth since the Jurassic Period, in spite of mankind’s efforts to destroy them. I must say that I admire the cockroach for its stamina, its constitution, and its ability to adapt and evolve in spite of the human condition. We humans could learn a lesson or two from this remarkable bug that so many seem to dread.

The thing that bugs me the most about humanity is that in spite of all of the facts mentioned above, many of us humans believe we are somehow more superior and evolved than this durable insect. We squash it; we swat it; we spray it; we even try to asphyxiate it.  We’ve been known to fumigate entire residences and business establishments with deadly poisons in order to annihilate the little bugger. You might say we have tried everything short of a revolution to rid ourselves of the Cockroach, but the stronger the chemicals we conjure up, the more the Cockroach adapts. I say we humans need to focus on more important issues in life, like learning how to be happy, and leave the poor Cockroach alone. 

Surely, an evolved being should know how to be happy. Yet, instead of experiencing happiness, too many of us seem to be busy doing stupid stuff like altering our bodies, our foods, and the planet and magnificent creatures that inhabit it. It bugs me to no end that we have convinced ourselves that we are evolved. I take issue with that.

I look around this magnificent world and I can not find anything wrong with it. This world is a beautiful, innocent place. The only thing I can see that is wrong is us. ’We’ are what is wrong with this world. We are unhappy gods in exile and it is our own doing. We have been given this unexplainable gift of life and too many of us fill that life up with fear, bias, blame, conditions, hatred, regret, judgement, opinions, jealousy, condemnation, rebelliousness…shall I go on?…and we wonder why we are not happy. We have been given this wondrous planet to live on and too many of us are filling that planet with pollution, garbage and plastic contraptions.

The Cockroach doesn’t do any of these things. The Cockroach is busy being a Cockroach. We humans don’t seem to be comfortable being ourselves. We spend millions of dollars each year on purchases to make ourselves happy, we slip in and out of relationships in search of ultimate fulfillment, we alter our appearance with plastic and silicone, desperately grasping for the happiness factor. We find it easy to tolerate someone else’s misery, but almost impossible to tolerate someone else’s happiness or success. For heaven’s sake. What are we doing?

Happiness is easy, but it’s an inside job. One can slip into happiness this instant, but there’s a price. We have to give up all of the foolishness and settle into our natural self. Until we are willing to do that, we are destined to remain un-evolved, unhappy gods in exile.

Why haven’t we learned to adapt and evolve like the Cockroach?  Why can’t we be happy in our natural state?  We can take a lesson or two from the Cockroach if we sit still for a moment and observe. Here’s a challenge for you. The next time a Cockroach crosses your path, think twice before you stomp him with your shoe. Try standing next to the little bugger for a moment and see how you truly measure up.

As far as the happiness factor goes, if you figure out how to slip into it, don’t make any noise about it. Just slip in quietly and become a shining example to the rest of us. Now that would be a true revolution!


Thank you, Beverly!


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