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February 19, 2024

5000 Angry Bees

By Chas Wallace

I received an email from our office manager this morning, informing us all there is a bees nest up by the roof by the front door to our office and that some people would be coming around this afternoon to take care of it. Now, I usually come in via the back door so I have been unaware of the whole thing. This is a good thing, as even at the my age I am still rather nervous, to say the least, around bees.

I went out to our atrium to take a look at the nest behind the safety of the large window. It was huge, being at least a foot in diameter, and I had no problem believing it held the 5,000 bees the exterminator said it did.

Looking at the large hive brought back a lot of memories about bees. I remember as a kid going into a blue funk every time I saw a bee. I would run away screaming, flailing my arms, convinced I would surely die if I wasn't fast enough. Now I live in an old house that has ample places for bees to build a nest. Every year without fail they try one of these places, and every year I am forced to deal with it. I have learned that this is one of those things that must be addressed head on. If you think and ponder and prioritize dealing with it compared to all the other things on your plate you will end up with a hive of 5,000 bees like the one outside our office. Trying to remove that many bees from a place they have come to consider as their home is no easy matter. They will not go willingly, and the longer you wait, the worse things will get. In cases such as this, thinking and pondering and planning only get in the way. Immediate action is what is called for. Bees have taught me this lesson.

There is a whole category of things in our life that require no thought. I'm sure there are many more things here than I would like, but the truth is, most of the value in life comes when we are engaged and acting, and not when we are in a more meditative posture.

This is true of things of both a personal nature and a public nature. I spent a good three months getting ready to start my exercise program. If I would have just started it after a very long four or five minutes of thought I would have been three months further down the road by now. (I could go on but choose not to.) I tremble at the thought that life can be lived by acting in accordance with a simple code to guide us, by not over-thinking too much, and still achieve all that we could ever want from life.

I try and take comfort that there are things that we need to ponder. I remind myself that Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living," and therefore, my life must of necessity be one of the more worthwhile lives in existence. It occurs to me, though, that Socrates was probably of the same bent as I, a man with a predisposition to introspection and therefore not necessarily representative of society as a whole -- two wolves talking about deer meat if you will.

I came to the conclusion, too, that action is a good thing. When we are engaged in an endeavor, we accomplish things. We interact, we make progress, we forge relationships, we create, we learn, and we grow. It's not that thinking and planning and introspection are not good things, they are. Time spent in both action and thinking, though, need to be balanced.

As the preacher said, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun." Coming to grips with this is a personal thing. Learning to find balance in your life is a true sign of maturity. Balancing thinking with acting is a challenge for me. For you it is something else. The point here is learning to see what your issue is and to address it head on. Seeing that very large bee's nest this morning was a reminder to me of the challenge I face and am trying to address.

What is yours?

Article © Chas Wallace. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-06-21
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