As far as metaphors for change are concerned, this is a powerful metaphor. However, when we think about the future and the changes we might want to make, the natural world offers all sorts of models and lessons.
“What about a lowly cockroach or a lowly earwig?” He speaks Jessica Ware, Assistant Curator for the Invertebrate Division of the American Museum of Natural History, rolled her eyes. (Or Imbler Skeletonizer in the form of chewing gum leaves.) According to some estimatesaround 60 percent of all animals go through what scientists call holometabolismis a fancy word for transforming the whole body, like butterflies do. ladybugs, beetles, bees, lacewingsand flies everyone wraps up and goes through an incredible transformation. “You know, there are a lot of really cool insects out there, but they don’t get press, they don’t get greeting cards. It’s all butterflies, butterflies, butterflies,” says Ware.
The natural world is full of stories of transformation, collaboration and change. Stories that we all could probably learn from.
Some sea slugs, for example, eat algae and actually extract the chloroplasts from those algae and use them for photosynthesis. Other withsea slugs that feed on poisonous sponges store this poison in their bodies to use as a defense mechanism. For Spade, this has to do with the idea that a group can share different sets of skills and attributes with each other. “We could all gain experience and we could get the most interesting skills that different people in the group have brought.” For Dean, it’s a reminder that “each of us is a very small part of something very big.”
For Liz Neely, science communicator and firm founder liminalit’s a giant dumb fish which offers a metaphor for change. She points to the mola mola, also known as the giant sea sunfish. And giant is no exaggeration: by the time they become adults, these fish can weigh over 4,000 pounds. But they don’t start life so big. When they are born, they are 3 millimeters long.about half the length of a grain of rice. Mola-mola increases body mass by 60 during its lifetime. a million times. And it changes almost everything. “Your ability to perceive the environment, things that scare you, even how much effort it takes to move on water,” Neely says. “At this size, the water is heavy, thick, sticky. It’s like you’re swimming in syrup.
So, this giant car-sized fish is swimming through the ocean with some suspicion of what it’s like to be tiny and vulnerable swimming against the mud. “I don’t know exactly how big I am, like a fish,” Neely says. “But I hope I can continue to build a practice of revisiting the basic assumptions I have about myself in the world, about what poses a threat to me, and how I deal with it.”
I’m bringing all this up because, essentially, my podcast, Vision of the future, was about change. How to change the future? How can we achieve the tomorrow we want, not the one we don’t want? And the main part of this question has to do with how insects turn into slime. Do we have to completely dissolve ourselves and our world in order to achieve our desired future? Should we burn it all down, destroy everything and rebuild from this molten space? Or can we change more gradually, in stages, like hermit crabs, slowly improving as we go?