Allegory of the Spider

I hate spiders. I don’t know if it’s a societal influence or a personal preference, but spiders seem to be a part of an earthly species meant to creep people. I normally kill the extra creepy-crawlers immediately. However, one special spider brought me to a strange moment of enlightenment.

The spider was a white spider–an oversized version of the dead albino spiders I found between my blinds–and it clung itself between the popcorn ceiling and the powder-white wall. There was no hope for me to fling a book at it, so I reluctantly sat at my desk and pretended it wasn’t there. No matter how long I pretended to ignore that the strange spider was, in fact, nestled into the awkward junction between my wall and ceiling, I felt uncomfortable. I wanted it dead; death meant no more thinking about it dislodging from the space and landing on me to bite me.

But as I reached for a nearby book, I realized the spider wasn’t that different from humans. Sure, it had 8 legs with the ability to make intricate webs of fate, but the spider was still a living organism. I thought, “If I’m so superior to this spider, why am I scared of it?” It wasn’t like the spider was dangerous. It was just a spider.

I looked at the spider, lowering the book in my hand, as the faces of every so-called minority flashed through my mind. I was no different from supremacists and racists and those white women who shouldered their purses in the presence of a black man. You would think that killing another person or thing was for self-preservation–really, we’re just evolved cave people–but in today’s world, is it about protecting our bodies or preserving a bunch of lies and phony ideals?

Bigots act so high and mighty, putting their ideals on a pedestal, yet they try to purge others who are different. Groups of people try to look all-important, hanging folks with helping hands, twisting politics with “lawful” townspeople, and packing into restaurants with apathetic stares to minorities. Suddenly placed individually into a diverse crowd, they fake their hatred in guises of silence and feigned sympathy, or risk the full rebuttal of this country’s history of racism and indoctrination.

And they kill people because they are scared of the truth. Why else would anyone be adamant about taking another person’s life? Animals kill to survive and so do racist “humans”.

So was I really that different, or am I just like other humans? Was I so superior to that 8-legged creature that it needed to die for being born a spider? Did it need to die just for me to feel comfortable?

The spider remained in the crevice of the wall, and the next morning, it disappeared. I don’t know where it went, but I learned a valuable lesson from the little critter I will be forever grateful to learn.

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