So,..have you thought about how you present your ‘spots’?
Our spots, for the purpose of this discussion, refer to our inherent gifts, experience and wisdom. All of which each person has a unique set of. This is because we have all had different life events to respond to, which shape and enrich our individual spots. This may seem a strange way to promote self-awareness,...however, when you apply the question, ‘Are you a lady bug, or pair of dice?’, to the way you may choose to share your ‘spots’, it may also be important to rephrase the question to, ...
"AM I somehow adding to the greater good when I share my spots?"
Why even compare Dice and Lady Bugs?
Well,…they both have spots, but each have different purposes and ways of being. As we examine the specific characteristics of the two, a person can make an interesting , if not philosophical, study of the human choices present. The choice to either live like a pair of dice,…or a lady bug.
Dice, of the common, six-sided gaming form, have a total of 21 spots per die. Although, there are other multiple types of die, plus endless colors, shapes, number of surfaces and materials which dice can be made from. This includes bones, glass, wood, seeds, and metals.
Today, the most widely used base material for dice manufacture is plastic. Dice have been used for gaming and divining, so essentially have been around as long as Man has been roaming the Earth.
The oldest set of dice found are Egyptian and dated to approximately 300 BCE and were 20 sided, (or icosahedron), mentioned in brief article titled, ‘Ancient d20 die emerges from the ashes of time’, https://www.cnet.com/culture/ancient-d20-die-emerges-from-the-ashes-of-time/
For this blog’s discussion, the basic set of gambling dice will be referenced. They are solid, uniform, basically a cube of stability, and steady once at rest. In fact, they cannot move at all on their own, reliant on some form of external force to get moving. Their spots are plain to see, yet some are hidden from view, as with each roll of the die, the downward face remains unknown to the outside viewer.
They represent the proverbial box, of keeping to the rules and boundaries presented. Safety inside the box.
Lady Bugs, have 7 to 12, spots depending on their species, of which there are over 5,000 types worldwide. About 500 are considered beneficial to gardening and helpful to the environment. They have multiple phases in their life cycle; egg, larvae, pupae, adult.
Some surprising and interesting facts were outlined by Debbie Hadley in her article, "10 Fascinating Facts About Ladybugs." https://www.thoughtco.com/fascinating-facts-about-ladybugs-1968120
Interestingly, they have various layers of outer armor and chemical toxins in each stage, all designed to protect themselves from the elements, predators and general environmental disturbances. The egg and pupae stages are static, secured in place as these are a time of growth and development where the energy is focused only on those tasks. The larvae and adult stages are active, and very mobile, which in most cases is beneficial to the environment. They specifically are welcomed in our gardens and farms to rid our crops of a whole host of destructive insects, plus their eggs and larvae. This extensive list includes aphids, thrips, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle
larvae, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worms, Colorado potato beetle larvae, spider mites, white flies, mealy bugs, and many others.
The Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia Convergens), has a bright red outer casing. proudly displaying its spots, and broadcasting to would-be predators that it is poisonous, which provides protection and freedom to move in plain site. The adults can fly, with an amazing, magical, and still to be understood, mechanical folding and unfolding of their wings,…similar to an origami creation. This is so efficient and practical in nature, that scientists are attempting to copy them for mechanical applications, such as a futuristic space station solar array, or everyday use rain umbrellas.
So how does all this compare to our human lifestyle choices?
Dice: Clearly, the stability, containment and ability to not always show all your spots to the outside viewer, is a tantalizing option when it comes to the difficulties we may encounter in life. Who knows what someone may judge as inappropriate, or ‘different’? Maybe someone will be jealous of your particular ‘spots’ and make a fuss about it. Being contained allows for limited challenges from the environment, as you stay within your box. The dilemma is, maybe you become bored, lonely, or worse of all, deprived of giving and receiving needed information that only your particular spots hold. What if your knowledge and gifts are able to positively effect even one person on this Earth and you have chosen to hide those spots? And the reverse is true as well,…with limited exposure and stepping outside the box, you may be reducing the ability to enjoy positive spot exchange from others.
All this is, of course, your choice. We are creations of free-will, which most people take for granted. Especially when they feel they are held in one place, stuck in the box, or staying within perpetual walls of protection,…or due to outer control.
Yet, there is always a choice. That’s what free-will means,…including the choice to exert free-will, or not.
Remember, dice cannot move without external force.
This requires being picked up, tossed, nudged, pushed, or shaken then thrown as part of someone else’s game. Thus, some spots may never see the light, always remaining hidden and removed from the World. This all sounds pretty limiting to me,…and a passive way to experience life,...let someone else make the choices, and let the dice fall where they may? No thank you.
Although, like me, maybe there have been periods in our lives when this is exactly the situation. That is, of course, until free-will kicks open the door of self motivation.
Lady Bugs: Being able to move at will has its benefits,..and its perils. The ability to move their spots to different places, interacting with other lady bugs, or other species found in the garden of life, enhances the knowledge and sharing options in flowing with the stream of taking care of daily business. This involves exploration to find more options in food, shelter, sunlight, water,… and a mate. All this is done with their spots always outward, no fear of what may be attracted, or repelled.
These are spots of creativity, experience, and wisdom,…unique and beautiful in their individuality. Lady bugs are ready to share with the right individual, or group, at any time, finding them often wandering around solo during the day, but seeking company as the sun sets. However, one lady bug’s spots are not for everyone,...So, perhaps this is why the ability to read each other’s spots is wonderful; it provides more choices and information to make wiser decisions.
Free-will, again, plays a role here. You can choose to interact, or not. The external forces at play here are the rays of the sun, location of daily needs with the ability to attain them, and the general temperature, or feel, of the garden presently occupied. And they are free to visit many gardens in their lives,…to experience and enrich several areas in their lives.
Yes, being a ladybug may be less secure, and there are a handful of birds, toads and insects, even other lady bugs, they may decide to attack. However, is it really any safer to just sit in one space all the time waiting for life to come to you,…like dice?
As a ladybug, think about all the wonderful flowers you get to visit!
Within your quest to clean away aphids, spider mites and other harmful insects, you interact with nature, other entities that are mostly good-hearted, and enrich your own life, as you seek to enrich the World around you. Look at how small and seemingly insignificant one ladybug is,…yet now that you know a bit more about dice and ladybugs, isn’t even a small positive impact to life, better than none at all?
So, even if you did not get anything deep and spiritual to think about from this blog,...other than lady bugs are pretty cool, which they are,…I want to make sure that you do get some helpful gardening tips. If, you want to know more about ladybugs, and how to attract these beneficial creatures into your garden this year, check out the links to these two articles:
Lady Bug Planet, “52 Plants That Ladybugs Love – How To Attract Ladybugs”, https://ladybugplanet.com/plants-that-ladybugs-love-how-to-attract-ladybugs/
Backyard Digs, “Buying Ladybugs for Your Garden”, https://www.backyarddigs.com/gardening/buying-ladybugs/
Resources to buy ladybugs from:
Ladybugs Direct, https://www.ladybugsdirect.com/
Green Thumb Nursery, https://www.greenthumb.com/product/live-ladybugs/
As always, please provide comments and feedback regarding this article, check out my website and my book, “Harry the Mule and Other Injuries: Anecdotes and Antidotes to Life’s Little Pains”, which is available here for a discount, or on Amazon and Kindle.
Thank you for your time and Best Wishes in Health,
Karen A. Shupp
Physical Therapist, Biologist, Modern Day Medicine Woman