Here is the story of four birds in a nest…
The four birds all hatched about the same time. Several times a day, mother bird came and delivered food and she made sure the birds had everything they needed. If it rained or there was a storm, she would come and spread her wings over the nest to protect her four baby birds. Life in the nest was very comfortable.
One day however, the first bird looked at his sides and noticed he had these things at his sides he could move about. So he started flapping and begin to like the feel of air moving around as he flapped. The other three birds who had to share the nest didn’t like his new endeavour and begin to ridicule his ‘flapping’. Determined to see what his newly discovered wings could do though, he kept flapping and simply moved closer to the edge of the nest so that he could practice further.
A few days later, the first bird was standing right on the edge of the nest, staring out at the world before him. The other three birds were just happy he wasn’t bothering them, as for once his wings were still. Then it happened… the first bird took a plunge and leaped straight out of the nest and disappeared. The second bird rushed to the edge of the nest to see where he went, while the other two birds talked about how strange the first bird was and how it was good that he finally had left them alone, “all that constant flapping, who did he think he was?” they continued.
Of course, the first bird didn’t plummet to his end, but had indeed discovered what his wings were for. As the second bird watched, the first bird flapped and…. FLEW!!! A little clumsy at first, but quickly adjusted and tweaked and started to climb higher, until he was flapping through the tree tops. Whilst the two birds in the back of the nest continued to whine and critique, the second bird watched in awe and was inspired. As the first bird continued to fly and disappear from sight, the second bird looked at his sides and looked at his wings with a whole new sense of possibility. To him they didn’t look at strong as the first bird’s wings, but nonetheless, he decided he too would start flapping.
Well that was enough to send the other two birds into a frenzy, “Who do you think you are? Think you’re as good as our flappy friend out there do you?”, “You’ll probably just fall with a splat on the ground if you tried that”, the other bird chimed in. But the second bird didn’t listen, he had seen it done, and he was pretty sure he could too (a little doubtful, but pretty sure). After a few days of flapping, the second bird was ready and stood on the edge of the nest, wondering if he could indeed fly if he took the plunge. Ignoring the heckling from the other two birds in the nest, he looked around, seeing if he could see the first bird. Thinking he caught a glimpse of the first bird in the distance, he made a decision to go for it and took the leap.
The leap was combination of thrill and sheer terror, as the nest quickly fell from view. Having to remind himself to spread his wings wide, the second bird enjoyed the rush of wind that seemed to fill his wings like sails. Then he flapped and felt himself lift a little, he flapped again, and again, and again, and then…. he too was flying! Wow, what a feeling! Feeling the rush of wind and being able to steer through the air, there was a deep sense that he was born for this, this is who he was and he was meant to fly! Having forgotten about everything else in his new found joy of flying, the second bird was a little surprised when he was joined by the first bird who heartily laughed with joy as he watched the second bird relish in his newly discovered endeavour.
Back in the nest, the third bird was getting a little sick of fourth bird. He always seemed so negative and as they both continued to grow, the nest wasn’t feeling so comfortable. It seemed the food that once filled his belly didn’t quite satisfy, yet he felt stuck – how could he ever escape the nest? Then along came mother bird, she stood between the two birds and started pushing third bird to move his wings. Whilst uncomfortable, with mother bird’s persistence it was hard to not at least give it a go. With space between him and fourth bird, third bird for the first time began to discover that he too would soon be able to fly and wish a hint of confidence approached the edge of the nest and before able to make a decision of his own accord was given a big shove by mother bird. Still recovering from the shock of being kicked out of the nest, third bird’s survival instincts kicked in and he started to flap, flap, flap and FLY!!!
So it was, that three of the four birds were now flying, which to us seems quite logical and obvious, because after all, it’s what birds are meant to do.
The fourth bird however, successfully resisted all attempts to make him fly. Mother bird tried working with him, she even asked second bird if he would try talk to him, but fourth bird scorned the mere thought of moving his wings, insisting that he was happy to sit back in his comfortable existence. What happened after that, remains a mystery, but there is a theory that fourth bird got so big for the nest, that he one day fell out and landed on the ground (of course unable to fly due to his ongoing resistance to moving his wings). The story goes that he waddled along till he came across a snake who is now quite well fed for a week or two. The other theory is that he stayed in the nest and became friends with a few possums who would talk together for hours about how ridiculous it would be to fly. Despite the theories, one thing is sure, he never flew.
Lessons from the nest
Now you’ve probably gathered, this isn’t just a story about birds… So what’s the thought behind the story?
The first bird was the innovator, discovered a possibility, ignored the others and made it happen.
The second bird was inspired by the innovator, learned from others, separated himself from those who criticised and made it happen.
The third bird knew it was possible, but needed a push and external circumstance to bring him to the point where he would begin to fly.
The fourth bird, never flew, had the capacity, but didn’t care and never learned the value of what he had.
The first three birds all realised what they could do and were successful in utilising what they had, even though they got there in different ways. They did it!
Is there an area that you were born to fly in? Which bird are you? (p.s. I don’t think you really want to be the fourth bird, do you?)