From the mouths of spiders...

While reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White to my 3rd graders today, I noticed that this book is pretty darn philosophical. Sure, on the surface it may be a cutesy story about a spider saving a pig's life (sorry for the spoilers), but really, it's a study of human nature.

During one conversation with Wilbur, Charlotte compares the  spider's web to the Queensborough Bridge. I can definitely see the resemblance. Charlotte boasts that it took humans 8 years to build that bridge, but that she can spin an entire web in just one night. Wilbur asks if bugs are also caught in that bridge. Charlotte replies,

"They don't catch anything. They just keep trotting back and forth across the bridge thinking there is something better on the other side. If they'd hang head-down at the top of the thing and wait quietly, maybe something good would come along. But no - with men it's rush, rush, rush every minute. I'm glad I'm a sedentary spider."

I paused for a moment to re-read that line aloud to my students. I asked them if they thought that people always rush, rush, rushed every minute, and they agreed. They thought there should be more time to just play or read.

Like Charlotte says,

"I know a good thing when I see it, and my web is a good thing. I stay put and wait for what comes."

Wow. This little spider really made me think twice about my rush, rush, rush life. I am constantly rushing. Mostly it's because I'm late. Yet if I really think about it, it's because I'm afraid that if I don't hurry, those good things won't come.

I really need to take Charlotte's last piece of advice to Wilbur; "Never hurry and never worry!"