A Fly Went By : Understanding Purpose, Protection, and Passion

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As I sat in a cafe in Mexico, I watched a fly go by and recalled a childhood book by Dr. Seuss, ‘A Fly Went By’. Attempting to keep the fly from not sharing my cheese plate and espresso, the intimate table conversation led to the discussion of purpose. Watching the fly I posed the question, why do we have these annoying bugs buzzing our food and cheeks? What is their reason for existence?

We all have a purpose. Small or large, we are here to do something. Our time on earth is precious. With hours to live, the fly’s time is valuable. We all shoo away or swat at these flying insects, but have you ever stopped to ponder its purpose on earth? A fly’s life is measured in minutes or hours, yet their purpose benefits each and every one of us.

The stages of larvae eats the host of harmful bacteria, preventing deadly bacteria from multiplying. This small act prevents deadly disease within the human race. Without the fly, we may not survive. The fluttering wings and long skinny legs of a fly, may be quite possibly one of the most annoying things to us, yet they serve as a protection to mankind. Every creation on this earth has purpose. Animals, plants, dirt, and more all created to cohabit this planet with us.

In ‘A Fly Went By’, the fly is buzzing by the little boy because a frog is after him. Wanting to return to his peaceful lakeside, the boy asks the frog to stop chasing the fly and discovers a chain of animals chasing each other. At the end of the chain, is a sheep with a tin can stuck to its leg. The story implies the loud ruckus from this little lamb, started a chain of fear based events of each animal running from its successor. The cause and effect of the loud noise, led to the fly who ran from the frog, the frog who ran from the cat, the cat that ran from the dog, the dog that ran from the pig, the pig that ran from the cow, the cow that ran from the fox, the fox who ran from the man, and the man that ran from the lamb.

The irony, the innocence of the lamb was not the cause of the chase. The fear inside the man started a chain of events that disturbed the quiet day. Removal of the tin can stopped the ruckus. In the book, the fly adapted to his present situation, attempting to hide. There is always a cause for everything, whether it is real or a seduced imagery of the mind. Learning and understanding nature and its course, can better us as human beings.

The fly may not be attractive, and it is sure to join our family barbecues and outdoor events, however, the fact is that fly was put here on earth for a specific reason, just like you and me. Discovering our purpose, our why, or our reason to wake up everyday, can empower us to do more, be more, and live more.

How do we know what our purpose is? There is something that makes each of our hearts sing. For some it is the light that shines for being a mother, for others it may be the passion that comes from sculpting a piece of art, or running a fortune 500 company. Whatever it may be, our God given talents are a gift. Those talents are unrepeatable, and are there for us to use if we choose to access them.

You, me, and everyone on earth are each unique. Our purpose different, and often not fully understood. There is a plan for each and everyone of us. My interests, needs, desires, wants, loves, and plans will not be the same as yours. Just as the fly, we all fit a different profile – from look, to size, to region, yet we all have a purpose. The diversity is what makes our world unique and evolving. If we were all the same, and had no reason for being, how could we lead, change, or grow?

Thank you fly for brushing my cheek today. You sparked deep conversation about embracing purpose, protection, and passion. Moments turn into minutes, minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days. Each moment as precious as the next. How will you spend your minutes during your lifetime?

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