Sisterhood Shares Life Lessons Learned | A Walk Along The Way-Notice Nature and Best Practice For Life Series: Tolerance Lesson From A Snake


Tolerance Lesson From A Snake
Tolerance Lesson From A Snake

What I’ve Learned

I’ve learned life lessons can come from anywhere. Whenever I take a moment to notice nature it provides me with any number of valuable insights. The most recent, a tolerance lesson from a Snake five-feet-long slithering along a sidewalk.

Face Fears With knowledge

During a walk along the way, I encountered three Snakes, a stripped Salamander, and two buzzing Bees. If not for a previous curious encounter, I might have reacted much differently that day. Normally, the menacing movement of a slithering five-foot long Black Snake suddenly in my path would have provoked fear. So why not this day? What was different?

By the time I happened upon what is oddly enough, a commonly encountered creature, I had converted my fear into compassion through knowledge. I had faced the question as to just what it was about Snakes that frightened me and what I could do to manage my perceptions. Identifying and managing intolerance bred from fear is a best practice for life for any circumstance.


As human beings, our first instinct is to be fearful of the unknown,  unfamiliar, different or the curious as it were. As such, often times our response is to react with violence as a defense mechanism usually precipitated by ignorance.  Should you find this to be the case, there is an opportunity to learn a lesson in tolerance.

I love flowers and shrubs so I try my hand at Gardening, and created garden beds to display my creations. On occasion, while pruning my Garden, I have come across Snakes. The Snakes were usually small but a Snake none the less. My immediate reaction, crippling fear that caused me to act defensively. On several occasions, I grabbed my handy Garden Hoe and chopped off the head of any Snakes in my path. Killing a Snake in my yard never bothered me much before I must admit. The adrenaline from fear acted as judge and jury to justified my actions. As the adrenaline subsided it turned to relief rather than remorse for having just taken a life of a living creature.


It wasn’t until I killed a Snake with the Garden Hoe and noticed its body was still moving that I became aware of the absence of tolerance in my actions that followed. I was still in fear mode.  I frantically raised and forcibly dropped the blade of the Garden Hoe with accurate precision to sever the Snake’s head and watched until all movement subsided. However, it was moments later before the fear left me. It was then I saw two dead bodies. One obviously the Mother, the other the baby she was fiercely protecting. For the first time, I actually recognized the consequence of my actions, and it was a sobering feeling. I was overwhelmed with remorse, but the damage was done and irrevocable.

After that incident, I realized clearly that this reaction to fear transcended to any ‘Curious Creature‘ we may meet along the way that went beyond the animal species. As a human creature capable of forethought and change, I knew I needed to understand more about why I had the reaction to destroy a living thing without conscious and find ways to prevent the same from occurring again.

I educated myself on the variety of Snake species. As such, my next encounter was that of consideration and compassion.

A Courteous Snake

Once I educated myself about the different species of Snakes, and which were venomous verses harmless, I had a totally different outlook when I encountered them during my walks along the way. One of my first encounters after being educated was that of a courteous Snake. As I walked along a trail I diverted my eyes side to side careful not to step on a Snake crossing my path. As my eyes veered to the right, I smiled as I saw a cute little face peering out monitoring my movements.

Yes, it was a beautiful Black Snake poking its head out waiting patiently for me to pass by. I recognized at that moment this little creature meant me no harm. For the first time, I actually saw a Snake as a living thing worthy of being valued. Like me, it just wanted to get to where it was going safely. I could relate to that feeling. This was certainly the first tolerance lesson from a Snake I had ever received. An unlikely source indeed.

I was lucky enough to capture and video my next encounter and share my lesson up close and personal.

Are Dogs Oblivious Or Keenly Aware?

I’ve noticed my Dogs are either oblivious or keenly aware of a Snake’s intention, and as such appear completely uninterested. While my Dogs have encountered Snakes several times during our walk along the way, they have never acknowledged their presence. If they have noticed, they tend to ignore them. Perhaps instinctively knowing they are of no consequence, or the cold-blooded creature may simply allude their keen Canine senses. Yet another tolerance lesson from a Snake. One of my dogs was surprisingly startled when a Green Snake wrapped itself up around her front legs momentarily after she stepped on it as it slid across the ground beneath her. So, this begs the question. Are dogs simply oblivious or keenly aware when the curious creature among us poses no threat?

What To Do Should You Encounter A Snake

While most Snakes may look threatening and dangerous, the truth is many we come across in our walk along the way are of no harm to humans. The Humane Society of The United States notes this finding:

“Snakes cause few problems, and the few they do are relatively benign. Some of the larger species may cause problems around poultry houses, occasionally taking chicks or eggs, but—except for the venomous species— snakes are not a threat to humans or their pets”.

Because there are certainly venomous snakes that can cause you serious harm, including death, one has to take appropriate precautions and know exactly what to do should you encounter a Snake. The Humane Society offers helpful tips for staying safe when it comes to encounters with snakes.

Nature-Naturally Naked

“Life can be blistering and at times chaotic and just plain loud, but it is always beautiful. During a walk along the way, always take time to Notice Nature in its Naturally Naked form”. ~Sisterhood Sharing Sessions

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