In the wild, life isn’t catered to being sensitive of the feelings people have. Parents do not shield their children from the harsh truth of predator vs. prey. It’s the natural law of the world. The fact of the matter is that rocks are heavy, thorns are sharp, and what grows up will surely descend. Trees fall to timber, rocks slide when shaken loose, an thorns are a rose’s way of protecting its blossoms.
Likewise, a child needs to be built up to be successful- whether this be a cub, pup, or baby. I think nature can teach us a little about the ever present psychological debate of nature vs. nurture. Once born and when a mother sees fit, a recently hatched chick is forced out of the nest. Now, in this moment they can either fly or plummet to their death. At this point in their lives a chick’s mother could be seen as an antagonist to our little underdog. Often times in entertainment productions we are convinced to hate the antagonist of the story. However, the one who fills this role is simply the one that forces the protagonist to grow. It’s survival of the fittest. It’s possible we are born equipped with the ability to adapt to our environment, but we are also taught by mentors. And sometimes that mentor is our own view of the world.
You see, an antagonist isn’t always the cause of a hero’s troubles, sometimes they just aggravate them. Heroes already have hardships and struggles. They are ordinary, in their own way. We have no comprehension of what it would be like to be perfect. Religion presents a hope that there is a perfect being out there who knows everything that is right and knows what he or she is doing. But, understanding the concept that we exist- full of envy, lust, a bottomless pit of desire to never be fulled- means that heartache will be felt. Even a perfect person- truly perfect in every way- would be saddened by our pettiness and desire to be better than all those around us.
Boiled down, this means everyone, everything, every being has a weakness. Perhaps seeds are planted in too small a pot. Perhaps the infant drowned before it even had a chance to live. Perhaps the barely matured form has become stricken by disease unsolicited.
So when you really think about it, life is our antagonist. It enhances our struggles and sadness. It tumbles rocks down a canyon side as we’re driving through allowing each of us to have a method of protecting ourselves in hopes of reaching the day when our lives are fulfilled, complete, and finished. So we can fall like the tree in the forest, simply transforming into a home for the wild life, a playground for the visitors, and a way of giving back to the universe that birthed us.