Three Things a Spider Taught Me

Sometimes the greatest lessons come from the most unlikely places.

I get up in the middle of the night to go to work. Every morning here lately it seems that when I walk through the front doorway, a spiderweb wraps itself around my hair. Since it’s dark, I don’t think about the fact that a spider might have stayed up all night running silk cords from one side of the doorframe to the other, creating a very useful structure for gathering groceries. 

That’s the spider’s application of the law of attraction. 

It works pretty well, huh? 

When something as big as me walks through a trap like that, it’s way more than any spider can eat. Before he even has a chance to lay his poison on me, I’m cussing and swatting at the mess he’s so carefully crafted to snare spider-sized meals. 

Then nature’s small craftsman will have to weave its web all over again. 

And sure enough, tomorrow morning I can see its handiwork as the spotlight in my neighbor’s yard illuminates it for me. 

At least when I see it, I can grab a broom and sweep away the silky network instead of using it as hair spray. 

If you’ve stayed with me this long, here’s what you’ve been waiting for.

The first thing I learned from my eight legged friend is diligence

Spiders spend a lot of time and energy making webs. They weave several strands together in each line they make to ensure the whole web is strong enough to support the spider and any food that gets stuck. When all the spider’s web spinning protein is spent, it has to eat part of the web to add to or renew the stickiness of the structure. 

You really do have to work to eat in the wonderful world of insects. 

The second lesson is persistence.

Every day my friendly neighborhood spider spins a new web. And every day I sweep it away. It remains undaunted by my attacks. It does what spiders do. It follows it’s own natural desires, regardless of the obstacles and opposition it faces even from giant opponents. 

Besides, it’s got to eat to live. If it’s not catching food, it will die.  

The third and final lesson is that the spider has self-awareness

This spider isn’t pretending to be a cat, or a fly, or a fox. It would be silly for it to try. Doing unspiderlike  things doesn’t even cross this creature’s mind. It is true to itself. 

So why do we try to act like something we’re not? 

The next time you get snared in a spider web, I hope you’ll appreciate the diligence, perseverance, and natural talent that went into its creation.

But you’ll probably just cuss and swat.