The Lesson in the Spider: How Fear Leads To Bigotry

I had a very interesting conversation the other day about 😮 SPIDERS, with a friend of mine.
She said that a tarantula had burrowed along the walkway that led to her front door and that she was going to fill in the hole and spray the spider with Raid if she saw it again.
My reply to her was, “Why?”
She said it was because she was terrified of spiders.
Again, I asked her “why?” She told me is was because they looked weird and creepy.
Being the overly inquisitive guy, my friends know me very well to be, I asked another question, “Why do they look weird and creepy?  Is it because they’re different from us?
Her reply was because they had 8 legs, 8 eyes, they were hairy, and they could sting you.  I said to her that the reason they’re hairy is to protect them from predators. Those hairs will embed themselves into the skin of the predator if they’re attacked, and they cause they cause skin irritation.  It helps protect them.  The hairs also help them to sense movement, in case something is coming.
I said their eyes are not like our eyes. They’re simple organs and are more like sensors that detect heat and movement.
They really can’t see all that well, which would make it really hard for them to come charging after you if walk by them.
I told her the sting is only for protection and to kill prey for food–just like we–HUMANS–need to protect ourselves and to kill things to eat.  And, I told her that most spiders, ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE OF TARANTULAS, are extremely shy, docile, and typically run away from confrontation.
I know because I’ve tried to catch them in my younger days, and biting is the last option for them.
She, then, said, “Well, I don’t really care.  It’s on my property, and it’s gotta go.
I told her, “Nature has existed way before that house you own was even built and before you were even born. Technically, you are on its property.”
She became a tad bit irritated, naturally, and I then revealed to her why I was making such a big deal about a spider. I told her, “Killing the spider is pointless, because it ruins your chance of learning something new.  Instead of trying to understand something, you’ve chosen to blindly be afraid of it and to destroy it.
God made spiders, too, and instead of showing regard for life, even if it is small, you’ve chosen to just snuff it out. Respect for ALL LIFE starts by learning to appreciate even the small things, because if we, as the human race, can learn to do that, then how much more will we learn to respect a human life?
How much more would we be willing to be tolerable, compassionate, considerate, and willing to understand our global brothers and sisters in our communities? Simply destroying something without questioning where your fear of it is really originating from, which is from ignorance, further sinks you into a very close-minded, irrational, and stubborn way of thinking about the world.
When you said, ‘I really don’t want to know about them, because they just look weird and creepy”–different, do you know what kind of people have a similar thought process?
“No,” she said, unsure of where I was really taking all of this.
“People who are members of hate groups,” I said.
 She said, “Well, dam, that was kind of harsh.”
I told her, “I know that, surely, you are not a racist, but those types of people and groups–neo-Nazis, the kkk, the islmaic state, christian identity, people who accuse all Christians of bigotry, and all Muslims about being of hate and violence–have that same thought process.
“It is not so much about the spider,” I said.  “It’s your thought process about the spider that is concerning.”
The underlying theme of all those hateful groups IMPLY, “WE DON’T WANT TO UNDERSTAND.”  
“WE DON’T WANT TO TAKE THE TIME TO HEAR THE PERSPECTIVES OF OTHERS.”
“‘THOSE PEOPLE’ ARE WEIRD, DIFFERENT, AND DON’T THINK THE WAY THAT WE THINK, SO THEY MUST BE ELIMINATED AT ALL COST.”
“LET’S ISOLATE OURSELVES FROM ‘THEM’ SO THAT THERE’S NOT EVEN A POSSIBILITY THAT AN INTERACTION BETWEEN US AND THEM WILL OCCUR, WHICH MIGHT CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING.”
“LET’S BE AFRAID OF THE UNKNOWN INSTEAD OF TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IT.”
“LET’S DESTROY THEM!”
She stood there with a contemplative look on her face trying to digest what I’d said.
“The ONLY REASON you are afraid of the spider is because you were brought up to be fearful of them, and never made the effort to question why you are really afraid,” I said. “If you are still going to kill the spider, then, by all means, do what you feel you have to do.  But, I encourage you to see if there is anything else in your life that you fear and for you to question yourself, why you are really afraid of it.  Also, put yourself in the spider’s shoes for a moment.”
She laughed out loud and replied, “Well, who cares what the spider thinks?”
 “Perhaps, the spider,” I smugly said. 😏
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All Entries, Inspirational, The World We Miss, Who's Got Drama?

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