A Lesson From Chickens

The chickens in my grandfather’s backyard all sleep in our neighbor’s fruit tree. It is the tallest tree and the one with the most numerous branches in their vicinity. It’s like their penthouse suite. Overnight security and so high up from the ground.

There’s the youngest of all, basically still a chick, that I call Tom Hanks (long story) and he wanted to follow the older chickens up in the tree. But he’s still too young and his tiny wings can’t take him that far up yet. I watched him go farther and farther up. He perched on our neighbor’s wooden fence and tried to reach the tree. But he fell.

Later, he gave up and had to retreat to his old nest. He was sleeping on that nest that night.

Observing Tom Hanks made me think of the goals we set for ourselves and the obstacles we had to face in our lives.

I once mentioned that I don’t agree with people who said that you “only think” that obstacles are big. Like obstacles have some weird deceptive power that make them look big. “It’s all in our heads,” they say.

I think not. I think obstacles are big and they’re supposed to be big.

Because maybe, when we were facing those obstacles, we were just like Tom Hanks (the chick above, not the actor); still tiny and our wings can’t take us anywhere far.

Maybe we had to fall several times before we reach that treetop-penthouse.

Maybe we still don’t have the strength to overcome those obstacles. Yet.

Maybe we still have to grow.

Because really, isn’t that how life is? No one joins the game of life and immediately starts at level 99. But then, not everyone starts the game of life altogether. You could still be at level 18 and you’re already comparing yourself to someone at level 50. Give yourself a break.

If there was something I’ve learned from Tom Hanks the chick, it’s that when you fall down, you don’t give up. You go back and rest. You get to live another day and grow.

Who knows? Maybe next sunset you’ll finally reach that branch.

Image from: Today Pict

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