I Feel Safe In My Cocoon

There’s a world where I can go
And tell my secrets to
In my room
In my room
In this world I lock out
All my worries and my fears
In my room
In my room
–Beach Boys, Brian Wilson

We wrap ourselves so tightly in our cocoon. So warm, cozy, comforting.

We seldom venture out further than places we know. Where we feel comfortable with people who look and sound just like us.

And ideas? We don’t need new ideas? Those that were passed down from parents, or peers, or preachers–that’s all we need. Research from 50 years ago revealed that we only read those things that reinforce our prejudices.

Today, entire business models that make billions of dollars are built on that research. Do you watch Fox or MSNBC? Ah Ha, we can type cast you. And target you with advertising. And you keep coming back for more advertising because you need the hourly fix of information targeted to your prejudices.

Remember when rock songs were targeted to teenagers? Brian Wilson reflected the adolescent years of growing, but not yet grown. Wanting to be with my peers, yet needing to be alone, in a sanctuary, safe.

[Side note: this of course was written to the middle class kids with parents and families that offered safety; unfortunately today we know that too many kids never feel that safety. Something we need to correct.]

There is the story of the boy who found a cocoon. He showed it to a wise man. The guru said, “Just one thing. Do not help the butterfly get out of the cocoon.”

But sadly, the little boy returned to the guru later. The butterfly was dead.

“You helped it, didn’t you?” he asked the little boy. “You see, in order to grow, become strong, and mature, the butterfly must beat its wings against the cocoon. Struggling with all its might to get out. Then when it breaks through, it is a beautiful butterfly that can fly among the flowers.”

What about us? Do we struggle and try to grow? Or do we try to stay safe in our cocoons?

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