'A larva is generated naturally from rubbish'
Surprisingly, people thought like this for 2,000 years. Besides, people usually regarded insects as damaging to them and as products of the Devil. Currently, people know that a butterfly goes through complete metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly via the pupa stage. However, only 300 years ago, people thought that caterpillars were completely different from butterflies. Because they believed that a caterpillar is generated naturally from mud and piles of garbage, it was quite hard for people of that time to face the truth that a caterpillar is the same being as a beautiful butterfly. People even called a butterfly 'a summer-bird' that makes an abrupt appearance when the weather is warm.
So, how can people think outside the box? Due to the paintings of Maria Sibylla Merian, people could believe that caterpillars are equal beings to butterflies. This German girl didn't think of insects as annoying creatures, nor regard insects as products of the Devil. She only liked to observe them with full curiosity. One day, she discovered a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. She drew pictures after seeing it, and collected the paintings into a book. The book marked a turning point in entomology, which had been nothing more than vain discussion.
The most remarkable aspect of this story is that Maria was able to make a great discovery because she was free of a fixed idea that dominated people for 2,000 years. We know that we are enclosed with many stereotypes. You have zipped up your mouth, afraid to be looked as a weird person if you say some of them are wrong. It is OK to hear that you are crazy once in a while. How about conducting yourself in what you really want to do? Maybe it is the way to become a creative person.
Jeong Won-kyeong -
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