Every Wednesday I try to post some way that birds make us smile – a comic, a cartoon, a funny video, a round of bird-themed jokes. But we often forget that birds don’t need to do anything special or be seen in some special way to create smiles. They’re already special, with their beautiful plumage, graceful flight, melodious voices and charming personalities, but in our craziness of everyday life, we sometimes overlook those qualities that make us love birds in the first place.
There is a lesson, one we all ought to take with us into our own lives every day, not just on Wednesdays. We are all special in our own way, and while it can be hard to look past occasional flaws – just as some birds get bad reputations for aggressive behavior, harsh songs, less savory diets or other difficulties – even noting those as negative or undesirable flaws is a flaw in ourselves. That flaw is judgment, criticizing others when we don’t know their whole story or the unique circumstances of their lives. This is something I need to work on far more diligently, and while it can be disheartening to be judged ourselves even as we try to be less judgmental, remember the birds – they do what they do and move on with their lives without condemnation of themselves or others.
So, to smile this Wednesday, remember the birds – their beauty and other qualities you love, how much you enjoy them, and what they can teach us about ourselves. Take that lesson to heart in the next week, smile, and share that smile with others. You’ll find you can smile all week long with that positive attitude. Happy birding!