The Scale of Things

The other night, I was lying down on my pillow when out of the corner of my eye I saw a spider crawling next to my face.

A while ago I would have thought this could be a great start to a horror story.

Not anymore. As I gently let the spider crawl on my finger and opened my window to let it out outside I had an epiphany.

I am now a level 10 vegan!

Spring is in full force here in Montreal which means I have to welcome back bugs and spiders into my life.

It took me about 2 years after calling myself a vegan to stop killing every bug and “creepy” crawlies I encountered.

I don’t regard killing bugs and spiders the same as killing animals but I still cringe a little when the 4 year old I babysit purposefully steps on ants.

As I went back to bed I started thinking about this: the scale of things.

How is it that something so small can make us lose sleep if it crawls too close?

We decide to magnify the threat of something just because it’s on our pillow. It’s silly really, especially considering there is no real threat in the first place (unless you live somewhere tropical in which case I’m both sorry for you and jealous).

While I don’t care anymore about spiders on my pillow, I let my worries weave their web in my head. As I lay down, anxiety crawls around me like a spider.

Instead of guiding it outside or letting it be I try to squash it.

I realized that I should do the same with it as I do with any real spider. Anything crawling on my pillow will either go away on its own or I can guide it gently outside.

As humans, we place value on everything; objects, animals, people. Our own worries and fears are magnified when they really are only tiny little things that happened to land on us or near us.

Our scale of things is largely arbitrary. I think we can all agree on that. Both about the external world and our internal world.

We give more attention to the worries and fears that eat at us even when they’re about the tiniest of things, while we give our big dreams very little time.

As I’ve been able to stop killing spiders because I’m no longer afraid, I have to stop chasing worries.

You should too.

On both accounts. Spiders and worries.

Add cows, pigs, chickens, lambs, goats, ducks, rabbit and anything else you fancy killing while you’re at it please.

Thank you!

*I apologize to all arachnophobes for this picture




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