These are being touted as baby porcupines. They’re not. They’re hedgehogs. For some charming photographs of baby porcupines, link HERE.
“It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but, the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from others. This way they were able to survive. Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people. The best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and admire the other person’s good qualities.”
A few things strike me about this piece:
- It is at once a recipe for peace in our homes, schools, places of worship, and neighborhoods.
- Its message is a valuable one for all of us, but it is most especially valuable for those whose immediate response to difference is to either isolate or attack.
- “Imperfections” are in the eye of the beholder. Our families, cultures, termperament, and religions foster differences in customs, world views, value systems, and standards of courtesy, costume, and cooking that really aren’t imperfections. They are just dissimilarities. Nobody is perfect, but everyone IS different. Get over it and get on with love and life.
“The concept [of the porcupines' dilemma] originates from German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer‘s Parerga und Paralipomena, Volume II, Chapter XXXI, Section 396. In his English translation, E.F.J. Payne translates the German “Stachelschweine” as “porcupines.” Schopenhauer’s parable describes a number of hedgehogs who need to huddle together for warmth and who struggle to find the optimal distance where they may feel sufficiently warm without hurting one another. The hedgehogs have to sacrifice warmth for comfort. Schopenhauer draws the conclusion that, if someone has enough internal warmth, they can avoid society and the giving and receiving of psychological discomfort that results from social interaction.” MORE [Wikipedia]