Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Always look on the bright side….

I’ve read several leadership books by John Maxwell and whilst I think he occasionally fails to boil things down to the bare essentials… 21 rules for this, 17 laws for that … sometimes his insights are priceless. I’ve no idea where he got this story from that appears in his book 'Roadmap for Success', but I’m sure there are many of us – whatever element of life’s road that we’re on – who will identify with the story of the bird… those of you who see yourself in the cat… shame on you!

‘When you’re trying to realise your dream, sometimes you’ll be surprised by which people want to light your fire and which ones want to put it out. … A Canadian bird decided that it was too much trouble to fly south for the winter. He said to himself, “I can brave a winter. A lot of other animals do it. It just can’t be that hard.” So as all the other birds flocked away to sunny South America, he stayed behind and waited for winter.

By the end of November, he was having serious second thoughts. He had never been so cold, and he couldn’t find any food. Finally he broke down and realised that if he didn’t get of there soon, he wasn’t going to make it. So he started flying South all by himself. After a while, it began to rain. And before he knew it, the water was turning to ice on his wings. Struggling he recognised that he couldn’t fly any longer. He knew he was about to die, so he glided down and made his last landing, crashing to the ground in a barnyard.

As he lay there stunned, a cow came by, stepped over him, and dropped a plop right on him. He was totally disgusted. Here I am, he thought, freezing to death. I’m about to die. I’m on my last breath, and then this! What an awful way to go.

So then the bird held his breath and prepared himself to die. But after about two minutes, he discovered a miracle was happening: He was warming up. The ice on his wings was melting. His muscles were thawing out. His blood was flowing again. He realised he was going to make it after all. He got so happy and excited he began to sing a glorious sing.

At that moment, the farm’s old tomcat was lying in the hayloft in the barn, and he heard the bird singing. He couldn’t believe it; he hadn’t heard anything like it for months, and he said to himself, “is that a bird? I thought they’d all gone south for the winter.

He came out of the barn, and lo and behold, there was the bird.

The cat crossed over to where he was, pulled him gently out of the cow plop, cleaned him off – and ate him.

There are three morals to this story:
1. not everyone who drops a plop on you is your enemy
2. not everyone who takes a plop off you is your friend
3. if somebody does drop a plop on you, keep your mouth shut

I think there are probably more than three... but then there is also a danger that if we take this to heart... we won't take risks... we won't sing... and we won't p**p!


Blogger Seejayuu said...

Just come across this by a serendipitous route. A classic parable formula? Also illustrates 'A picture [albeit in words!] is worth a thousand words'. Thanks for posting it.

3 March 2010 at 12:43  

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