Story: The Talking Bird





There is an old story about a fellow who lived alone and went to a pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the bird might fill some of his lonely hours. The very next day, however, he came back to complain, "That bird doesn't talk."

The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man said he didn't. "Oh, parrots love mirrors," he explained. "When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he'll just start talking away." So he sold him a birdcage mirror.

The bird owner was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still hadn't said a word. "That's very peculiar," allowed the pet expert. "How about a swing? Birds really love these little swings, and a happy parrot is a talkative parrot." So the man bought a swing, took it home, and installed it in the cage.

But he was back the next day with the same story. "Does he have a ladder to climb?" the salesman asked. "That just has to be the problem. Once he has a ladder, he'll probably talk your ear off!" So the fellow bought a ladder.

The man was back at the pet store when it opened the next day. From the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. "Didn't your parrot like the ladder?" he asked. His repeat customer looked up and said, "The parrot died."

"I'm so sorry," the stunned businessman said. "Did he ever say anything?"

"Well, yes. He finally talked just before he died. In a weak little voice, he asked me, "Don't they sell any bird seed at that pet store?'"

Some of us have mistakenly thought that happiness consists of lining our cages with toys, gadgets, and other stuff. Excessive consumption has become the hallmark of our life. "Whoever has the most toys wins" seems to be the likely candidate to be the bumper sticker for an entire culture. But is it so?

There is a spiritual hunger in the human heart that can't be satisfied by seeing one's own image reflected back in vanity mirrors, playing with our grown-up toys, or climbing the corporate ladder. Our hearts need real nourishment.The love of family and friends,relationships over the pursuit of more things, personal integrity, a secure connection to God --these are the things that feed the soul.

Have you chosen a life course that leads to a destination that matters?

F A M I L Y



I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
 
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
 


He said, "Please excuse me too; 

I wasn't watching for you." 



We were very polite, this stranger and I.
 
We went on our way and we said goodbye.
 


But at home a different story is told,
 
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
 


Later that day, cooking the evening meal, 

My son stood beside me very still.
 


When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
 
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
 


He walked away, his little heart broken. 

I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken
 


While I lay awake in bed,
 
God's still small voice came to me and said,
 


"While dealing with a stranger, 
common courtesy you use, 
but the family you love, you seem to abuse. 


Go and look on the kitchen floor,
 
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
 


Those are the flowers he brought for you.
 
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
 


He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
 
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."
 


By this time, I felt very small, 

And now my tears began to fall.
 


I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
 
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.
 


"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
 
He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree. 



I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
 
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue." 



I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; 

I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." 

He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay.
 
I love you anyway."
 


I said, "Son, I love you too,
 
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."
 


FAMILY 

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company
 
that we are working for could easily replace us in
 
a matter of days.
 
But the family we left behind will feel the loss
 
for the rest of their lives.
 


And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more 
into work than into our own family, 
an unwise investment indeed, 
don't you think?
 
So what is behind the story?
 


Do you know what the word FAMILY means?
 
FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU


Frustration



There is nothing that makes you frustrated. 
Any frustration you experience is the result of 
your own choice to react with frustration. 

There is nothing that makes you annoyed. 
Any annoyance you experience comes about because 
you have decided to be annoyed. 

You can choose to be annoyed, 
frustrated, angry, and spiteful. 
You can also choose not to be. 

Imagine how effective you could be if there was nothing that annoyed you. 
That level of effectiveness is yours to choose, right here, right now. 

All sorts of things will happen in your world today. 
You can let them get to you, and annoy and frustrate you, 
or you can choose to follow your own path. 

You have the power to be free of frustration, free of annoyance, 
free to accomplish and enjoy life. Choose that freedom today.

~Ralph Marston~