Like a moth to a flame.

Like a moth drawn to a flame

Image by gehat via Flickr

I rushed to the lamp to turn it off.  I had heard a zap.  I smelled something burn.  I looked around.  I saw smoke waft from my lamp.  It was a 6 foot tall torchiere (Think a tall skinny lamp).  The lamp had a halogen bulb.  It burned white hot.  I tilted it so I could see what happened.  There is was.  A charred moth.  I turned the lamp back on.  The moth finished burning.  The smell went away.  Once and a while, I’d hear the zap.  I’d look for the plume of smoke.  I’d smirk and shake my head.  And go on with my life.

This raised a question.  Why do moths flock to a flame?  One explanation is they are confused.  Moths use moonlight as a navigati0nal aid.   It helps them stay oriented.  It draws them upward.

Moths are not highly intelligent.  They operate with a small brain that executes instincts.  Moths see a light.  They confuse it with the moon.  Then they fly wildly out of control.  The flit about in random patterns.  Victims of a target that is not what it appears to be.  The light leads them to be lost.

Facebook, American Idol, the shiny new car, the woman who’s not your wife, the bottle, the job with 50% more pay and twice the travel, the business idea that promises to set you free without too much hard work …

We’re not so different than moths after all.  We’re drawn the flame.  We confuse it for the moon.  We think it will lead us higher.  We think it will make us happier.  We think it will make everything better.  If you’re not careful, it will make you go up in smoke … like moth to a flame.

What light are you following?  Is it time to look up?

Know the light you’re following.  Don’t get burned.


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