Is it Foolhardy to Tenaciously Try to Reach a Goal?
This beetle was getting too close to where I was digging, so I shoved it away. It came back. I lifted it up on the end of my scooper and placed it by some leaves further away. Then I went inside to get some water. When I returned, I didn’t see it, so I dug some more. Then I stuck a ruler in the hole to see if I had dug deep enough, peeked in, and lo and behold, there was my beetle, at the very bottom!
Reaching in with my digger, I gently tried to scoop up the beetle—no luck. I got it on the tip of the digger and painstakingly edged it up while rubbing the tip against the side of the hole, and the beetle helped by trying to scramble up. Success! I got the beetle out; again put it aside. The beetle chugged away, so I resumed digging. No sooner did I look away than, sure enough, it was back in the hole, on the very bottom. I did the same thing over again, but this time I put the beetle on the other side of the yard. Then, admittedly a bit paranoid, I kept glancing up to make sure it wasn’t trying to return.
What I can’t understand is the tenaciousness of that beetle. Why did it keep coming back to where I was digging? And after I got it out of the hole the first time, it had to have seen my digger going in and out, so why did it go inside?
In some ways, the roots of plants are just as tenaciously foolhardy. They grow freely, blindly groping their way through the soil and sending out offshoots, until they come up against a barrier and have no more room to spread. But they keep trying, until they entangle each other so thoroughly, they and the plant they’re attached to die.
I sometimes wonder if mankind is just as foolish, although we’ve learned from experience that persistence can pay off. We can, at times, if we try hard enough, overcome the barriers we hit and reach our goals, but we also usually realize when being tenacious can be foolhardy. Perhaps it’s a matter of human nature vs. instinct.