R. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome and a precursor to the electric car, among other things, liked to tell this story (paraphrased).
The honey bee is a hard worker and a good provider. It flies from flower to flower and plant to plant and back to the hive carrying half its weight in nectar. The nectar is in turn made into honey by the worker bees. The honey is eaten by the larvae (babies). A combination of pollen and chemicals from the worker bees makes royal jelly to feed the queen who makes more babies. The Circle of Life. Honey bees fly on their mission until their wings literally wear out.
They exist to feed the hive. But what else do they accomplish without ever “knowing” it?
They provide our planet, and therefore all other animal, insect and human life, with plants and flowers by carrying pollen from place to place. They are the match makers for plants to have sex by exchanging pollen. Or maybe they are more like IVF doctors.
As a result of this sexy process, the plants provide oxygen for us to breathe, beauty that is breathtaking, and sustenance. Bees are the only insects who provide us with food, both directly with honey, and indirectly from pollinated plants.
Their entire, short lives consist of constantly working to feed the hive. But their greater significance will always be a mystery to them.
It’s the same with us. When I was in the throes of a dark night of the soul, between careers and lost, I sought advice from a mentor. He told me, “Carol, Jesus could have been a stock broker.” What he meant was that Jesus’ job as a carpenter was not what gave meaning to his life. Moreover, both our jobs and our actions have perpendicular results we don’t anticipate and that may remain unknown to us. I am now a therapist and life coach and, when my son went back to our home town, recently, three people he met while out told him his mother had changed their lives. He couldn’t remember who they were, so I will never know. Hearing it is gratifying after my mid-life belief that my life and influence were over. But the truth is, even if I had stayed in corporate America, I still would have made impacts, most of which would always remain a mystery to me. And like the honey bee who flits from flower to flower, I am just fine with that.
For more about my life coaching, go to newchoicesguide.com
(There you go John Gorman. The Bucky story I promised.)