Second meditation

A really short one today, since it’s almost time for Project Runway and I don’t want to start anything I can’t finish by ten!

This morning, I spotted a beetle on our front step, lying on its back with legs waving. As I watched, another beetle moved toward it in a straight line until the two bugs were touching. Then the second beetle pushed the first one until it was back on its legs again. I thought this was sweet. Erik wondered if it might have been an accident.

“No,” I said. “The second beetle made a definite beeline for the first. It knew it was upside-down and it was going to help it.”

Erik thought it curious that a creature with no brain would know to help its fellow. To me, it seemed quite natural, assuming the beetles have no interest in competing with one another. If you’re just ambling along, and you hear, see, or otherwise sense signals of distress coming from a fellow creature, isn’t your natural instinct to go to its aid? Even if you’re utterly not invested in whether the other creature lives, wouldn’t you simply want to make its distress signals cease?

Anyway, I still think it’s nice. I’d never before seen any evidence of beetle empathy.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]