I haven’t written in any capacity for quite a while, so it’s strange that I should make a return to writing on Truth Talk, given all that’s going on, to tell you a tale of Leon the lobster.
If you’re a fan of YouTube journeys you may well have come across the endearing story of Brandy Brandwood and one random crustacean sat in a supermarket awaiting his fate.
This lobster was in a tiny, water only tank, waiting to be sold alongside three or four others when Brandy arrived on a rescue mission with the aim of keeping it as a bit of an experiment, and once he’d returned his liberated lobster home he bequeathed it the name of Leon.
Initially Leon’s little pinchers were bound with elastic bands, added way back when he was snatched from the open seas, and as Brandy cut them loose you could see that poor Leon couldn’t even use his majestic claws with the muscle having worn down due to disuse.
Yet day day by day Brandy helped Leon to exercise, open his claws and clamp down, and over time they became stronger and stronger to the point he was able to use them as he would have done in the wild, breaking open muscles, shells and more, yet the scars from his restrictive bands stayed visible. A reminder of a time gone by.
Leon was initially and obviously a little sketchy, yet Brandy persisted and over time Leon began to shape his environment within in his tank, he starts eating a lot more and becoming more mobile and active, so with this in mind Brandy increased the size of his tank again and made his environment even bigger and more suitable for Leon, figuring this is going to be a long-term thing.
Over the course of the next year or so Leon grew stronger still to the point he was comfortably able to shed his marked and scarred skin, and over the following days as his new skin hardened it became clear that Leon was now a beautifully coloured and vibrant, strong and happy looking lobster.
Gone were the scar marks on his body from the rubber bands of his incarceration, various battle marks and scrapes from fights were left behind and a new and improved Leon emerged. Stronger, happier, brighter than before.
By now Leon was garnering quite a following on YouTube, and in what is one of the most encouraging sub plots to this article, I encourage you to go and watch any of the videos linked at the bottom of this piece, then check out the comments and you’ll find they’re almost 99% POSITIVE!
This, on YouTube, where the comments section is one of the most toxic places on the internet. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it! Yet it goes to show that just one video about a human making a difference to the life of another living being can elicit a collective outpouring of positive emotion.
Watch one, I dare you not to feel all warm inside afterwards. It’s a great example of how helping others makes you feel happier and, that it’s not limited to humans. This is why so many of us have pets, it’s easier to be kind to them without having your motives questioned like it often is when directed towards humans.
So the by now YouTube famous Leon was generating quite a stir online and receiving fan mail and more besides, yet his liberator, Brandy had to relocate to Georgia to a property that fortunately had far more space than the last, which meant a whole new tank and set up for his little lobster friend which was even better than the those which had gone before.
After the now familiar initial settling in period, Leon took to his new home started reshaping his landscape, moving his rocks around to his liking and generally making his house a home, and Brandy, always trying to improve the environment for Leon, introduced a few little friends such as some small crabs and some shrimps to keep the place clean and tidy.
The new residents and Leon seemed happy in their new home, and I was amazed at the contrast in Leon from the dark coloured elastic banded and lifeless lobster we met on day one, to the bright vibrant, engaging, and some would say charming crustacean that he is today. This for me was a massive euphemism for the importance of environment.
Now I don’t mean environment in sense of climate and all that entails, I mean in the sense of yours and my own personal environments, both externally and internally, and the importance of their impact on health and growth.
All living things can thrive when in the right environment, all living things suffer and struggle when they’re in a bad or toxic one, this works for both physical and mental health and neither is mutually exclusive. If any environment is toxic and restrictive, you’ll weaken, wither and eventually give up, yet if your environment is conditioned to support all you need, then you can grow and thrive. This is environmentalism I can get behind!
The problem we have right now is that many are living in a toxic and unhealthy environment, both physically and mentally. We are in the midst of a huge psychological experiment, one that’s generating a fear-based environment. Everyone is worried about the cost of living, prices are going up for everything, the daily fear porn is unrelenting and for many the choice really is heat or eat, and this creates huge worry. Fear and worry have a detrimental vibrational effect on your health, both physically and mentally. It makes you tired and weak.
We should view the continuing government actions as psychological elastic bands around our collective claws, and our claws have become weakened from a lack of use. They seek to restrict our strength, and nullify our danger. We need to remove the bands and increase our collective strength. This only happens if we create the environment to sustain it.
Leon also teaches us that you can leave the marks and scars of the past and reinvent yourself when in the right space to do so, and that even in the seemingly worst situation and with no way out, something can intervene and change your course at a moment’s notice. Never, ever give up.
What deeper meaning is to be taken from this? Well, we can look at the perception of environment in a relative sense. After all, Leon is still living in a tank, albeit one several levels above that which he initially found himself in, yet to all intents and purposes it is still a manufactured prison to contain something that should otherwise be free.
Given Leon is in an immeasurably better place now than he was or would have been had he not been bought by Brandy, and whilst he is indeed thriving because everything, he needs is being provided for him, it’s a millionth of a percentile of the freedom he should have. Yet, in that environment there are dangers, and in his current environment there are none. Is it a fair trade? I wonder if Leon is aware of his own incarceration, if he even remembers the open sea, and whether or not by now, that this trade of freedom for security is entirely a willing one.
This is the deeper meaning and indeed warning contained within the story of Leon – we must always beware false prophets.
It’s human nature to seek a safe environment that provides for our needs to enable us to grow so that we may thrive, yet we should forever beware anyone claiming to provide such utopia, given what they’re selling may turn out to be a prison in disguise instead.
Find out more about Leon the lobster: