Healing a Lizard On a Nail


© Reza Deghati courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards


This evening, I had the pleasure and honor to meet photographer Reza Deghati at one of his exhibits {The Human Rights Institute at Kean University}, "One World, One Tribe." His images convey a compelling story of the unity of the human race.

"The message of One World, One Tribe is we all have the same blood all over the world. The blood is the same color," said Reza. "We may have different colors, different languages, but the essence of humanity is the same for everybody."

Reza shared a story about a "lizard on a nail" with an important message for oppressed countries:

When renovating a house, a construction worker tried to repair an eroding wall. Houses in Japan usually have an empty space between the walls that are made of wood. When the walls start falling, he found a lizard trapped between the empty space with his feet attached to a nail.

He felt sorry and also curious. When he checked the nail, he found out it apparently had been there 10 years ago when the house was first built.

What happened? How can the small lizard survive the condition of being trapped for 10 years? , In the dark for 10 years, without moving at all, it is something impossible and unreasonable.

The man was wondering how the lizard can survive for 10 years without moving from his place since his foot was stuck on a nail!

The construction man then stopped the work and silently observed the lizard, what it does and what it ate to survive.

Then, suddenly, another lizard appeared with food in its mouth ........

The man was so touched to see that. Turns out there was a lizard who always took care of that trapped lizard for 10 years.

A powerful metaphor, this story brings to mind humanitarian aid to oppressed regions. We can give and give, bringing in supplies, food and medicine, but the people cannot be free unless they are released from burdens imposed by despots, "the nail." To really make a difference, Rezza says, we have to figure out how to solve the root cause. Yes, we are one world, one tribe. I only wish that each of us could live by this ideal.

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So this guy reckons that the guys who stone women to death to punish them for being rape victims are in the same tribe as I am?

Sorry, it is simply not true. I have no idea what colour their blood is, but it isn't anything like mine.

And the story about the lizard is total bulldust.

By Vince whirlwind (not verified) on 16 Feb 2011 #permalink

A few years ago, when I was cleaning up the inevitable debris
around the metal shop, I found a piece of "hardware cloth"
as it is called locally (heavy wire mesh, galvanized, with 1/4 inch
holes) that had a lizard that was halfway though it. Half
of the lizard was on one side, and the abdomen of the lizard
went though one of the spaces between the wires, and the
hips, legs and tail were on the other side.

He was constricted where he went through the mesh, and I could
not imagine "helping" him through. His legs were just too big.
He was very much alive, though, so I got some tin snips, and
very carefully cut the mesh away, until I could cut the
last wires that held him. I cut the perimeter of the wire
containing him very carefully, and bent it away, and he
scrabbled away in a pretty normal fashion.

I can only guess that he got stuck when he was smaller, and
there was enough bug life nearby that he managed to eat
regularly enough to grow. They don't drink, and they have
slow metabolisms, not being warm-blooded, and he wasn't
in the direct sunlight.

I cannot imagine that any other lizard fed him.

Its a metaphor. And as for Mr Whirlwind. Was Timothy McViegh one of your tribe. Need I go on.

By eggnostriva (not verified) on 17 Feb 2011 #permalink

@Vince Whirlwind...

That is exactly the kind of attitude that makes the world such a shitty place. Obviously I'm completely against the rape and abuse of women (or anyone else, for that matter), but you can't pretend that the people of the countries that practice those things are somehow intrinsically different from you... That's just racism.

The history of man is incredibly complex and filled with oppression of all kinds. If you begin to look into the history of the Western world, you'll see that women have pretty much always been treated horribly here as well. And the rates of rape in North America are something like 1 in 3 women still. We're awful to women too, we're just quieter about it.

You can say that you hate somebody's actions, but to try to segregate yourself from everyone you disagree with just builds more separation, hatred and misunderstanding. Even if you are right.

And as far as the lizard story is concerned, it's a fable... Nobody's trying to fool you into thinking it's real. If that's all you can focus on, you've missed the point entirely.

How did we deal with the Nazis? Yes, the wishy-washy among us practiced cowardice in the form of appeasement. 6,000,000 jews died as a direct result of that appeasement, as well as many millions of others. Ultimately they were destroyed through force of arms.
Advocating "peace and understanding" as a means of dealing with the likes of the Taliban will not only get us nowhere, it will prolong and amplify the needless suffering of the innocent who we are neglecting while we pursue our craven appeasement.
Your subsequent display of cultural relativism is just plain ridiculous - I haven't seen any rape victims executed in the middle of soccer pitches in my town recently, but I am aware our local gaol contains a fair few rapists. If you can't spot the difference between a vile and alien ideology and a secular and democratic government that promotes the rule of law, there is probably little hope for discussions such as this one being of any use to you.
As for the dishonest lizard story (which reminds me of the kind of crap the bible is full of) why do you need a "fable" or a "metaphor" when the reality of the enormous amount of goodness and charity that our society displays in the way it takes care of its weaker members is all around us? Why not just mention the volunteers that staff your local soupkitchen? Or Fred Hollows, who personally marshalled volunteers and collected $6,000,000 to perform corrective eye surgery on penniless Eritreans?

There are plenty of good people in the world, but those whose deluded arguments perpetuate the injustices of the bad people are not among them.

By Vince whirlwind (not verified) on 17 Feb 2011 #permalink

Based on the comments, I think the point of the story was missed entirely. It is about how our charity does not always help people overcome the situation, it just prolongs it.

The article itself does not give a solution but suggests "we have to figure out how to solve the root cause" of oppression and that we have a social responsibility to help others that are oppressed.

The most useful way to receive this article would be to use it as a stimulus for discussion about what the "root cause" of oppression is so that we might find a better solution.

By Shannaka Beveridge (not verified) on 17 Feb 2011 #permalink

I agree, and to add, all big problems are a bunch of small problems that manifest into big problems. To solve big problems, the smaller problems that make it need to be isolated and solved. Honestly, we (Americans) have problems of our own that seriously need to be isolated and fixed. If we solved some problems at home like issues education system, we will be more able to solve the problems of others.

By Terrell McQueen (not verified) on 01 Mar 2011 #permalink