Archive for February, 2010

Top Caterpillar! What do Caterpillars, Politicians, Yoga Students, Musicians, Activists, Sport Enthusiasts, and most Business People often have in common?

February 28, 2010

From 1984-2004 I owned and managed a huge 10,000 sq. foot used and rare bookstore called Paper Treasures in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, 2 hours west of Washington DC by car. Over 20 years we bought and sold over a million books, magazines, newspapers, maps, post cards, and other paper ephemera, some dating back to the 1500’s. We sold paperbacks at one half the cover price (minimum of $1.00) and highly sought after one-of-a-kind treasures worth thousands of dollars.

Using a-type-of revaluation now in 2010, one of the most valuable books we sold was “Hope for the Flowers”. Used soft cover editions came in regularly and sold for $3.00. We may have sold 100 or so copies. Released in 1973, Trina Paulus’ story has been translated into dozens of languages and over 2 million new copies have been sold world-wide. I hope everyone on this planet will read this tale and make significant applications from the story to us. I have no need to retell or even give a synopsis here. I do want to look at caterpillars as they grow and eat, and grow and eat, and grow and eat, until they can grow no bigger. They grow until they are as big as they can be. Eating and eating, alongside others who are doing just that, growing bigger and bigger until they are the biggest, the strongest, and best caterpillar they can be.

Most yoga students, activists, sports enthusiasts, politicians, and other business people do the same; eat and grow, grow and eat, eat and grow, to be the biggest and the best …… that they can be. We strive until we arrive, and then we are seen by ourselves and others as successful and at the top of our game —- We become the top caterpillar. We become a president, a yogi, a music or sports star, the biggest fan, the CEO, the head of an NGO, a millionaire, or a billionaire. We go for the gold: caterpillar gold that is. This way of living is fostered, encouraged, and driven by parents, capitalism, fans, society, education, most economic and business models, and of course by us. Even the most wonderful religious, and metaphysical systems function in our minds in this way. We keep looking to get bigger and hopefully better. Getting higher, and higher, up the ladder, trying to achieve enlightenment, security, freedom, the seventh chakra, or heaven and get our crown, our caterpillar medal. If we haven’t “arrived” we may feel insecure, but we keep on trying. If we make it to the top, we may feel bad or sorry for those who don’t, we may even encourage them to try harder, work harder, sacrifice more, whatever, to get there too. This is the path of the caterpillar in us.

End of Part I……

Part II will compare and revalue the federal government, the chakras, and us