The butterfly Parable
An insight into Mentoring & coaching
One day a man finds a cocoon for a butterfly with a small opening, he sits and watches the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared stuck.
The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he carefully cuts open the cocoon. The butterfly emerges easily, but something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man watched the butterfly expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.
The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realise that the butterfly's struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight.
Like the sapling which grows strong from being buffeted by the wind, in life we all need to sometimes struggle to make us strong.
When we mentor and coach others it is essential to recognize when people need to do things for themselves and when to be helpful.