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Struggle is Nature’s Way of Strengthening

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This is a scene from Lost. The episode is called “The Moth”.

Background: Charlie is suffering from heroin withdrawal since John Locke took his stash.  Charlie continues to beg Locke to give him back his drugs. Locke responds with a challenge: He will allow Charlie to ask him just three times for the drugs. The third time, he will give them back. During the second time it comes to the following conversation:

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LOCKE: Come here. Let me show you something. What do you suppose is in that cocoon, Charlie?

CHARLIE: I don’t know, a butterfly, I guess?

LOCKE: No, it’s much more beautiful than that. That’s a moth cocoon. It’s ironic, butterflies get all the attention; but moths — they spin silk, they’re stronger, they’re faster.

CHARLIE: That’s wonderful, but…

LOCKE: You see this little hole? This moth’s just about to emerge. It’s in there right now, struggling. It’s digging its way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it, take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free. But it would be too weak to survive. The struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it. Now this is the second time you’ve asked me for your drugs back. Ask me again and it’s yours.

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