As I wandered through the garden flowers blooming outside my house yesterday I happened upon some bumblebees as they went about their business leaping from flower to flower in search of nectar and pollen

I happen to like bumblebees and butterflies. They have always been a fascination of mine since childhood and having grown up in a country environment I was comfortable with them being around. My two youngest girls are scared of all bees.

They run screaming at the first sight of any flying insect or bee. I have talked to them about the difference in certain wasps and bees, but their natural urge is still to run away screaming whenever anything flies their way.

They are amazed by the fact that I will get so close to a bumblebee and feel that it is a sign of true courage. I have tried to explain that the bumblebee is friendly and doesn't seek to harm us in any way even though it could unless we threaten or harm it first, but by then they are usually far away in the yard or home with eyes wide with fear.

Many times I have stroked the back of a bumblebee as it went about its business apparently unconcerned of my finger or intentions. I have had them hover in front of me looking me directly in the eyes as they seem to seek some reasoning of what I am and what my purpose is in their world. Not once have I ever been attacked or stung by one.

The fear the girls experience came from them being told to avoid all bees as very young children and never differentiating between types of bees and their patterns for interacting with humans. They group all flying insects and bees into one group, potentially harmful and dangerous.

How we could learn a valuable life lesson from the tiny bumblebee. Even though he has the potential to protect himself and cause a painful sting he does not attempt to do so even when I rub his back. Yet many people group him right in the same cache with yellow jackets, yellow wasps and killer honey bees which are known to have bad dispositions and a history of aggressive behavior.

We do the same with people. There is a tendency to group people and develop stereotypical ideals of who they are and what they represent and are capable of without getting to know the individual characteristics of each. We become fearful of cultures and beliefs before examining true purpose and intent and we share our feelings and beliefs with our young children grooming them to also be suspicious and fearful.

The hypersensitive in society are quick to point a finger at an entire grouping of people based on the thoughtless actions or words of a select few. They run screaming and hide in fear or attack in the attempt to eliminate perceived threats from people simply because they are different or have belief and cultural patterns that are unusual.

These people, like the simple bumblebee have no intention of causing harm in any way yet they are set upon with fear and hatred simply because they look like others that do initiate aggressive actions and attitudes.

What if all bees saw humans as a threat simply because we kill off aggressive yellow jackets and killer bees? Would we then have to destroy all bees in an all out global war against bees and insects?

As I stood there marveling at his beauty this lowly little bumblebee taught this much larger human with the supposedly superior intellect a valuable lesson in the comprehension of living with other creatures of the natural world.

How I wish others would also learn that lesson.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. Gentry has taken to heart the lessons shared with him over the years by his mentors. He continues to enrich himself through sharing his knowledge and insight with others in the attempt to better society by making even the slightest positive change in his fellow man.

Knowledge is worthless if it is not shared and utilized for positive direction and improvement.