Once upon a time, a young chameleon lived in a lush, green forest. The chameleon was amazed by how its skin could change colors, a way of adapting to the temperature or displaying its mood.
Also, the changing colors had a secondary benefit, helping it blend in with its surroundings.
The chameleon loved to climb high into the trees and look out at the rest of the world. It could see a blue river, a brown field, an outcropping of red-tinged rocks. The chameleon longed to leave the forest and visit those places, to experience more of the world.
But the chameleon’s elders warned: “Don’t even think it! You must live your entire life here in these trees. Your skin cannot change enough to help you adapt to those other environments. If you leave the forest, your color will give you away. Bad things will happen. It’s too dangerous! Stay where it’s green.”
The chameleon listened to their wisdom, but longed for something more – it wanted a life bigger than a tree branch. One day, it found the courage to take the risk.
So, it set off. As it left the forest’s greenery, the chameleon felt afraid. It wondered how much its skin would be able to change and adapt to the new landscapes and environments. It wondered if those warnings were accurate.
All very good
An amazing and unexpected thing happened. The chameleon found that its skin was able to change in unexpected ways, adapting to all sorts of new surroundings. Nobody had told the chameleon that would happen!
The chameleon realized that it had been taught things that simply weren’t true. Green isn’t the only good color for chameleons. Forests aren’t the only safe places. They can change into many colors and prosper in many different hues.
And it’s all very good.
The chameleon went on a long journey and experienced the world’s incredible diversity. Along the way, it encountered other chameleons that could change into yet different colors from its own.
But these others believed that their colors were the only ones possible or desirable. The chameleon would respond by describing its experience of how color is almost infinitely changeable and chameleons are incredibly adaptable.
The others refused to believe it.
“That’s not how we are made,” the other chameleons would say.
No matter how much the chameleon tried to convince them, they were set in their ways and in their beliefs. They would stay where they were and experience none of the greater world. They would not meet any other chameleons.
Missing the miracle
In fact, some argued that if other chameleons could change into colors other than their own, they wouldn’t be proper chameleons. They would be considered unnatural and should be shunned.
This made the chameleon very sad. It realized the others would spend their precious lives missing out on all the beauty and diversity around them.
Also, they would never understand what makes chameleons so unique and amazing. They would never fully realize how chameleons can come in all sorts of colors.
They would never know the miracle of how much they can change.