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The Monarch Butterfly Effect


http://biology-forums.com/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=1367

No, this isn’t the same as the butterfly effect. I’m not talking about something where a small movement of the butterfly causes a huge disturbance elsewhere in the world. I’m calling this my version of the try-something-once-and-it-turns-out-bad-so-never-try-it-again.

OK, let’s rewind. I read somewhere a long time ago that birds avoid eating the monarch butterfly. The caterpillar eats milkweed and milkweed contains a poisonous chemical that is harmful to birds when they consume it, though I believe it doesn’t kill them. Birds who haven’t figured out they can’t eat the monarch butterfly will often try it once then spit it out and avoid the insect there on out. The viceroy butterfly likes this so much it decided to mimic the look of a monarch to fool birds even though they are perfectly fine for birds to consume. But I digress.

The point is, birds learn to recognize the monarch butterfly and having learned that it’s bad for them, they avoid this type of butterfly for the rest of their lives. And one time is all it takes. The other day I was thinking about this and how it relates to humans. On a literal level, I’m sure we have foods we try once and never want to eat again. After all, just because something looks and smells disgusting doesn’t mean it tastes disgusting and the only way to know for sure is to take a bite. (I don’t recommend this if your name is Snow White.)

But on other levels, this may resonate with your relationships with people. It explains why people cut people out of their lives. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl because both genders exhibit this behavior. Maybe you had that friend that backstabbed you and if you had it happen to you more than once, you start to recognize the signs and characteristics of a backstabber. So in the future if you run into someone like your backstabber friend, you learn to avoid this kind of person. (They leave a bad taste in your mouth don’t they?)

If you fail a test, you don’t feel so good about it. The next time you have a test coming up, you do everything you can to prepare for it to avoid the bad feeling you get if you fail. This doesn’t mean you will never fail another test again, but at least you try to learn from the lesson so it has a chance at not happening again.

Unless you’re a masochist, you try to learn from your pain. The monarch butterfly effect works on times a family member or perhaps a close friend is upset with you or confronts you about something. You will not like the feeling of making someone upset and hopefully, if they are rational and understanding, they will clearly explain to you what happened to cause this and how you can contribute to making things better. After that talk, you can smooth things over and start anew.

We are closer to Mother Nature than we think!

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