Just like the birds


Saleh Al Shaibany

Animals, in my opinion, teach us many lessons. I was looking through my window at the crows landing on the power line. It was a windy day and they sought shelter behind a row of houses. Rather than fly against the wind, they abandoned their flight to let the storm past.

You and I can do the same thing. Why fight the tide of problems when we can take shelter somewhere for quite a while? The birds know that the winds will not rage all day and they can resume their flight soon after. Changing plans does not mean losing focus. What is the point in sticking to something that will lead to nowhere?

Time is valuable and doing things according to plan is equally important. But, it is important to face our disappointments when there are obstacles. Those crows on the power line knew their limitations. They were not stupid enough to take risk when they knew all they had to do was wait a little longer. Somewhere in their past, they remembered the destruction of the wind and that it pays to be patient.

Birds also know that there are more calm days than stormy ones. To them, dodging the rough weather is second nature. For us, taking a temporary shelter is not to admit defeat. Many of us have the urge to catch up with the lost time, hence our hurry to steam ahead. Remember, you always make a bad decision when you don't stop to think.

We get married quickly after a divorce, we say things instantaneously without meaning them or resign from a job on impulse. These problems happen when we try to fly into the rough wind. It all stems from the anxieties of our past or the uncertainty of the future. We can only go to one direction and that is forward. The past is a step back and the future can only be there if we stand firmly on the present.

Problems like divorces, missing someone, losing jobs or money would not go away but they can be dealt with as they come. When they told you to face the music they also meant to get in the jive and danced to the tune. Why? Because it is the same music everybody else hears. The only difference is that we don't boogie in the same disco hall. We all dance to the same tune in our private lives and in separate occasions.

Look at yourself this way. How would you like to be remembered after your death? People do not care whether you lived alone, worked as a waiter or was the owner of a multi-million company. They are going to remember you how you treated others. How you treated others would have depended how you treated yourself while you were alive.

There is no excuse for feeling sorry to yourself when it gets tough. Remember, nobody cares what goes on in the privacy of your thoughts. You don't need sympathy and convince yourself that you are not looking for that kind of reaction. Problems come and go just like successes. Never ever promise yourself that you are going to solve every crisis that comes your way.

Moreover, don't take anything for granted and give yourself a chance by paying attention to what is more important. It does not pay to let precious moments pass you by for something you have very little or no control.  Lie low in the shelter when it is rough and fly out when it is calmer, just like those birds on the power line. As for me, I now see clearer when I sit on my sofa looking outside through that window.

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