About Dandelions, Dragonflies, and other Childhood Myths.

Of childhood memories

little red wagon that most every child has
little red wagon that most every child has | Source

Childhood memories

Most children have had a little red wagon, or other favorite toy, that we remember well into adult hood.

The abstract memories associated with Dandelions, Dragonflies, and Other Childhood Myths, leave different and contrasting kinds of lasting impressions on our minds throughout our lives as adults.

Childhood memories of myths, monsters, and magic that inhabit the dreams of a child also leave a lasting impression on our lives.

But the burning question is: Why do we teach our children such nonsense?

When i was but a wee lad growing up in a very small town in northern New England, there were some scary stories, fantasies, and myths told to children to frighten them. Certainly not to enlighten enlighten them.

Traditional and local lore, old wives' tales, and warnings of boogeymen under the bed, were common place to keep children in their beds at night, and otherwise alert them to the old ways, and beliefs, of the culture we were born into.

Dragonfly and dandelions

field of dandilions
field of dandilions | Source
colorful dragonfly
colorful dragonfly | Source

Dandelions, Dragonflies and Bible stories

Dandelions were nasty weeds that ruined the lawn and had to be pulled out of the vegetable gardens on a regular basis, or they would take over and kill the grass and vegetables that were to be canned and stored in our cool dark larder for winter consumption.

So, dandelions were just a nasty weed wreaking havoc in our lives and cutting into our play time outside in the beautiful New England summer weather.

Dragonflies were nature's "sewing needles" to the young children. Older kids, and some mean old adults, would tell us to "beware of the the dragonflies" as they would sew up your eyes, ears and mouths if we were bad -- said bad words, talked back to adults, listened to evil thoughts, or looked at 'bad things' (don't make me explain that one).

Bible stories. Then there were those awful scary and frightening catechism classes we were forced to attend and endure. Those systematic instructional soul beatings, heart wrenching stories of how we are all sinners and will surely spend eternity in hell if we did not abide by every word spoken by our priests or pastors or rabbis. As if they were the only ones who could speak to "God" and get us into heaven, as long as we were 'good children', prayed every day, attended church services regularly and of course 'tithed-a-tenth' to the church.

When truth takes over

As we grew up, we learned that dandelions were not just nasty weeds after all. They were an edible, nutritious, and healthy food and made excellent 'dandelion wine'.

Food growers discouraged the ingestion of this 'weed' - not because it was in any way bad for us, but it could not be exploited, harvested, and/or used to make a profit from, as it was a natural plant that grew all around us in the wild.

Much like "fiddle heads"; another perennial favorite - the young unfurling fronds of some ferns often eaten as greens. They too grew wild, along river banks, and wetlands, and were harvested for personal use, and canned or frozen, for winter consumption. These two were my personal favorite foods as a child- dandelions and fiddle heads.

As we learned about flora and fauna, we also learned that those scary myths about 'nature's sewing needles' were just that - scary stories without any basis in logic or reality.

Dragonflies, also called: darner, darning needle, devil's arrow, or devil's darning needle. They are just insects characterized by four large, many veined, membranous wings that, when at rest, are held horizontally and at right angles to the longitudinal body, rather than vertically as in other sub orders, such as the zygoptera, or damselflies.

It is agile, with bulging eyes that make up most of its head, and has a wing span of up to 16 centimeters (approx. 6.5 inches).

It is one of the fastest flying, and most predacious insects. In 30 minutes it can eat its own weight in food. They also exhibit unusual mating behavior. They differ from most insects by having the male copulatory organs at the front part of the abdomen rather than at the end. Dragonflies often fly in tandem during the transfer of sperm; many pairs remain in this position until after the female has laid her eggs.

Dragonflies are beautiful, benign, and harmless to humans.

(The video is tribute to the beauties of nature).

When truth is ignored - the final myths

So, we come to the third childhood myth regarding those awful bible classes.

As we grew into adulthood we have learned that the dandelions and dragonflies are not as we were taught, because of reason, science, logic, and the ability to put those fearful teachings in their proper perspectives.

Why do we maintain those cataclysmic catechism horror stories as truths without rational logical reasoning?

Religious leaders call it faith.

Intelligent adults call it what it is:

It is a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor and visceral functions. It is also a behavior exhibiting overwhelming, or unmanageable fear, or emotional excess.

The constant bombardment of a child's mind with religious nonsense is the "hysteroid" that propels the child's mind to the acceptance of what they are told is truth even when logic dictates that it cannot be so.

The fear of the unfathomable punishment for not believing, is greater than the logical, and rational, ability to see and process these teachings - in the same way we see the reality of dandelions and dragonflies.

Sadly enough the ''delusional beliefs'' regarding religion haunts us for the rest of our lives.

by: d.william

Religious brainwashing causes delusional beliefs

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

First let me tell you that the video is not working, sorry. It is amazing the way you can voice your past experiences into an interesting story. I was not brought up in the Catholic Church, but one that taught that God would punish anyone who sinned. ( Pentecost Religion ) My Grandmother, Minnie, preached hell and damnation on a daily basis. My Mother continued on in the Religion and struggled with it throughout her life. It has taken me years to unlearn the teaching, in fact, it's a work in progress. If people only knew the damage done to a child through false beliefs. Thank you again for a very enlightening Hub.

God Bless you.


rafken profile image

rafken 5 years ago from The worlds my oyster

You tell it as it is. Keep on hubbing, thanks glad I found you.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/always+exploring.

Thanks for your comments. Sorry about that video. I changed it with a different one. Not quite as beautiful, but it shows the dragonflies up close. Neat.

I know exactly what you mean about struggling with those old concepts that were so deeply embedded in our minds. It has taken me years to get rid of that brainwashing from childhood. But i am pretty much over it, and like to think i am in control of my thoughts again. I truly pity those who carry this garbage with them throughout their entire lives.

When the government discovers new "cults" in America, they deprogram the followers. There really should be some kind of deprogramming program for adults who have had a lifetime of brainwashing, and indoctrination into these false, and often truly hateful beliefs.

I could never understand the logic behind the deprogramming of cult members, and the sanctioning of mass indoctrination by a few 'select' religions.

Brainwashing is brainwashing, no matter who is doing it. It still does not make it right to force those awful fears and hatreds onto children who only turn out to be scarred and damaged adults; and these damaged adults are running our country and making laws for you and I.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://www.hubpages.com/profile/rafken.

Thank you for reading and commenting, and i am glad you found me too.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

I always thought that dragonflies were good luck. It's interesting how different areas of the country have different myths.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/KoffeeKlatch+Gals.

Thanks for your comments. I don't think i ever heard that dragonflies were good luck. Even in the articles and research i did, they were never linked to good luck. But you are correct that different areas do have different myths. Believe it or not, before i moved south, i never heard of s'mores.


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Wow. I had never heard much about any myths around dragonflies. Thanks for the information.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/truthfornow.

Your welcome. And thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

I guess it is true that most insects have to consume a huge amount of food to provide energy to keep those wings beating. You never know what you could learn cruising down the information highway, thanks Cred2


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Great Hub d. - It is amazing how we incorporate those beliefs into our psyche and it is very hard to undo, even though the intellectual part of the brain tells you it makes no sense.

Well written and thought provoking !!! Thanks for sharing


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Credence2.

Thanks for reading and your comments. Is that really all you got out of reading this? LOL>

http://hubpages.com/profile/Chatkath.

Thanks. Fear is a powerful emotion. No-one that has been this deeply brainwashed wants to take the chance that perhaps there just MIGHT be some truth to those ideas, or EVERYONE would not be believing them. The rationale?: better to be safe than sorry.

I have heard many Christians make this kind of statement. Somehow, just that thought in itself should negate any hidden validity. (I will hold these truths as sacred - just in case they might be true)?. Is this the true definition of "blind faith"?


SteveMacken profile image

SteveMacken 5 years ago from Galway, Ireland.

Excellent... thoughtful and well articulated. I like how you think.

Voted up, useful and awesome.


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

Hi d, this is such a great hub. I agree with you on how we were told all those myths to scare us and keep us in line.

I was brought up in the Baptist church, and once I became old enough to know better, I decided that organized religion was an abomination. I do still go to Unity church. It is a nondenominational church which teaches that God is a principle and that we are all divine beings. The head of our church has a tremendous grasp of complex spiritual concepts and I enjoy the thought provoking talks, but I could never again be a part of a traditional religious organization.

Thank you for this wonderful hub.

Up/Awesome/Beautiful

Lela


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Great hub. l also grew up with the idea that dandelions were the bad guys, but l find as an adult the clergy were the bad guys. What a lot of fear they put in us? May God forgive so many of them, they have a lot to answer for.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/CreatePerfection.

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I did not know there was a church available that did not continuously beat one over the head with the Jesus stick. Glad you found a place of worship that suits your needs.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Dim+Flaxenwick.

Thanks for you comments. You obviously have a bigger heart than i do. There is just no excuse for this kind of child abuse in this day and age. The lawmakers are victims of this abuse as well, or they would have put a stop to it many years ago.

There is such fear implanted in our hearts and brains of this mighty retaliation by an unforgiving God, that no-one dares to even THINK negatively about it, let alone speak the words that might condemn them to instant punishment or eternal hell fire. What total rubbish.

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