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Posted by: | Posted on: May 16, 2015

What can a turtle teach us?

Red-Eared Slider (Turtle) at Brazos Bend State Park

Red-Eared Slider at Brazos Bend State Park

Nature teaches us amazing life lessons if we just pay attention.  Even a turtle can be a great ambassador of patience and understanding.

Today, I saw a woman on the side of the street staring over the curb at something in the road. She seemed very uneasy. She kept reaching for the item in the street and snatching her hand back quickly. She would shift from foot to foot or pace in a small circle a few times before nervously looking back down at the street.  This played out for several minutes. Finally, she composed herself, reached her hands quickly down to the street and came up throwing a turtle behind her into a grassy patch near a drainage ditch.

I immediately grasped a moral from witnessing this. It is not always easy or even particularly desirable to help someone (or something) in need or to do the right thing. This woman was clearly terrified of the turtle that desperately needed her help to make it over the curb and down to the water in the ditch before he was crushed by a passing car. The turtle didn’t realize the woman was trying to help, so he was probably snapping and clawing at her as she reached for it. However, the woman knew what needed to be done and did what she had to do…regardless of whether the turtle wanted her help or not. I’ll be keeping the image of the woman and the turtle in my mind to help me make the right decisions when I come across difficult or inconvenient situations.  

This is another reason to spend more time outdoors and observing nature (including the human kind.)  The natural world is always willing to teach us something whether we know we need to learn it or not.

Learn more about red-eared slider turtles at Wikipedia.