One day a man saw a butterfly shuddering on the sidewalk, locked in a seemingly hopeless struggle to free itself from its now useless cocoon.

Feeling pity, he took a pocketknife, carefully cut away the cocoon and set the butterfly free. To his dismay it lay on the sidewalk, convulsed weakly for a while and died.

A biologist later told him, “That was the worst thing you could have done! A butterfly needs that struggle to develop the muscles to fly. By robbing him of the struggle, you made him too weak to live.”

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Allow children to make mistakes. Parents often want to protect their children from failure, yet research shows that children who learn to handle the disappointment and set backs that making mistakes offer, actually are better risk takers and more confident learners. We not only try to protect children but sometimes we attempt to protect our partners, spouses, friends and others.

Developing a positive self esteem means helping others see themselves as having strong value and worth. Those with a healthy self esteem view difficulties as challenges rather than obstacles and have more positive relationships.   

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, we strive to promote a healthy self esteem in individuals, children, adolescents and couples. We have a team of licensed professionals who can assist you who are available day, evening and weekend hours.  You may visit us at or call 908-322-0112. 

The Gift in the Struggle was written by anonymous writer.