LIFE LESSONS: THE LIFE OF LIZARDS


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Lizards as an animal species are very fascinating, though a lot of people feel they are creepy as well. They are not particularly strong animals,(one well aimed stone or stick is usually enough to kill one). Yet nothing can keep them out of anywhere they want to live. Lizards are also reputed to be the species of animal that has lived on earth the longest, crocodiles, alligators, the powerful and extinct dinosaurs and even the mighty dragon of folklore are all relatives of these seemingly fragile creatures. What makes the lizard such a hardy animal? And what is so special about it that makes the bible describe it as “taking hold with its hands, yet it is found in kingspalaces.”(see Prov 30:28). In this piece we will look at three habits of lizards and what lessons we as humans can learn from them.

Lizards have a defense mechanism called autonomy they can shed their tails when chased by predators and re grow them again

    There are times in our lives when letting go becomes difficult.  Many of us today are not moving forward because we have refused to let go of some things we are used to. We refuse to let them go because we can’t bear the thought of life without them. A lot of people suffer in silence because they are  trapped with the wrong crowd or stuck in the wrong relationships or jobs and they can’t let go  because they believe that letting go will cause them pain and misery. But we can learn from the lizard which has learnt that letting go might be painful (the re grown tail is not usually as big as the severed one)   but that nothing is truly so precious as to be irreplaceable. As the popular quote says “when a door of opportunity closes, another one opens, but we spend so much time gazing at the locked door that we fail to see the open door.” We must learn to allow associations and habits that are not beneficial to our lives to go, because if a lizard caught by its tail does not let its tail go, the predator will eventually catch its and kill it. So also are our bad habits and associations, they are going to be our downfall if we hold on to them. Your life is very important, your family or the people who truly love you are important too. So is your dignity, and  the values that make you human, those are values that must not be compromised . If the predator, grabs your tail, leave it for him, if they have broken your heart or cheated and betrayed you, move on they may have hurt you, but move beyond them. Remember that popular song “…. though sorrow, may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Do not let the fear of pain and misery deprive you of an enjoyable life. 

Lizards shed their skin when they need to grow and they grow their entire lives

When I entered junior secondary school I remember that the first  topic we were taught in basic science was  the characteristics of living things and non living things. I remember how we repeated the popular acronym MRNIGERD over and over again so as not to forget. But one important characteristic that stuck in my memory was the G, which stands for Growth. In essence if something no longer grows, that thing is dead. Growth is something continous, growth is progressive. One analogy i enjoy using a lot is the analogy of the still water and the moving water, the moving water continually gets replenished and remains pure it can contribute to the  needs of people around it. The still water soon becomes polluted and useful to no one and if  it remains that way it would soon dry up. Out there is someone that needs your talent and what you have to offer, but if you don’t  progress, if you don’t build your skill level to the point where it can be useful, you will become like that muddy water, it has the characteristics of water but it is useful to no one. One thing about growth it is painful, it is not easy. like the lizard, you have to outgrow some things, there are some things you have to drop, there are some hard lessons you have to learn, the numerous years spent in different schools, that tough exam you have to pass, that unpaid internship you have to do, that unpleasant boss or co-worker you have to work with, all of them are things that peels off your old skin, they are the things that burn away the dross from you, making you the sparkling pure essence that everyone can see and admire. People are constantly dropping things into flowing streams, shit, body dirt, rubbish, and even toxic waste  but the stream remains pure because once it carries the rubbish some distance, it drops it and continues moving. Don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t be afraid if you pick up shit, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, don’t be afraid when people throw shit at you, it is only stagnant pools that are afraid of shit, keep moving and keep growing.  

A Lizard learns to fend for itself from the egg.

   When I think about independence, one thing that often comes to my mind is Olamide’s quote in Responsibilty, he says in Yoruba: “bi o fi imu ara mi ko si eni to ma mi fun e. OYO ni everybody wa, bee ni mo wi fun e.” (if you dont breathe with your own nose, nobody will breathe for you, because everybody is on his or her own) One of the greatest misconceptions that people have about life is that it owes them something. A lot of people believe the misconception that everything will come easy to them, and there is no need to go out to make their own destiny. This kind of belief is common among people who come from rich homes where everything was done for them and they never knew any hardship.  This misconception of makes them lazy and they ultimately fail to make anything useful of their lives. And they end up blaming the world for being so unfair to them. A lizard has no parents to rely upon, for it there is no room for complacency, it must either find a way to survive its environment or succumb to it. For the lizard, the mountain will never come to Mohammed; Mohammed must go to the mountain.  If you are lucky to have parents or ancestors who have given you a good foundation, then use it as a springboard to achieve your own success. The journey of life will ultimately be walked alone; each man must bear his own burden and take his own cross.  Robert Greene 41st law of power tells us never to step into a great man’s shoes. The lizard tells us that we will not always have it easy in our circumstances and that our paths will definitely be rough, but as with Tennessee Williams and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, It is the hard work and pressure that will allow us to achieve our ultimate dream and bring out the best in us. Life does not owe us anything, like the lizard it is we can that must make our own destiny.
 

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