It could be you…
It’s been nothing but rain for the past few days in Bali. Getting from one place to another are strings of hops skips, jumps, and puddle hopping. Usually trying to cover one’s head with a bag, backpack, or one’s hand.
So imagine my surprise when I found you sitting in the dark cowering under a tree. Yet there she was, tired, waterlogged, and seemingly unable to move. What happened to you I asked myself… Are you injured, hurt, broken, or just soaked? Why can you not fly away like all the other birds? Were you attacked by cats, snakes, or something else less fortunate?
This is the state I find you in and yet I could say the above about nearly everyone I meet. There you are smiling and happy, there you are enjoying a sunset. There you are having drinks laughing, and enjoying yourself with friends and relatives. The beach and the mountains are calling your name and off you go with such spirit and joy.
But the deep inside you, like that little bird, are hurt frail, and totally not in control. Unlike the little bird, you me, and everyone else can hide our pain behind a smile and face we choose to show to those around us. This little bird had no option to smile and had no hopes of survival unless I reached down to pick it up and help it out.
Many people offer a helping hand but with strings attached or with some sort of payback. What could I ask of this poor little bird in return? What could it give me that I don’t already have?
Nothing, one would say. This bird has nothing of worth to me, nothing that I could take back in return for my kindness. But this is where we would all be wrong and thus the downturn of society. We cannot always expect something in return. We shouldn’t expect something in return.
So I fed this little bird, breadcrumbs and a bit of water. I packed her in a box overnight and made sure she was dry and comfortable. The next morning I checked on her and she flapped both her wings and nearly left the box.
It’s in the song.
A night’s rest and a small meal were all that was needed for this little bird. Maybe she had hit a window, maybe she was hurt somehow in the tropical downpour. I was sure she was ready to leave. I opened the curtains and the window to a burst of beautiful sunshine and opened up the box. The little bird looked around and flapped its wings. She was in no hurry to leave, she did not feel a threat from me or from anyone else around us.
She flapped her wings and looked up at the sunshine and flew to the edge of the box. Looking around she must have oriented herself and quickly flew off. That’s it I thought to myself. I did good, I helped out this little bird, and off I went with my day.
During the day, I felt good, it felt good to do good and I went about my day as usual with a positive attitude. The day ended and I went to sleep. The next morning I was up before my alarm because something had awoken me. It was the song of a bird by my window. I opened the curtain and there she was. The bird I had saved, the bird I claimed to have nothing to give back to me, just gave me back the most amazing gift.
Next time you see someone who can use a kind word, or a kind gesture, do not be afraid to reach out. The world is a terrible place sometimes. We never know how one kind gesture can change the life of another, especially when you ask for nothing in return.