Chickens and eagles
Picture borrowed from here.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Benny Hsu, the writer of the blog Get Busy Living. This is one of the few blogs I subscribe to; I don’t subscribe to that many because I want to feel I have the time (and energy) to read all the emails arriving in my inbox.
Subscribing to too many blogs simply make me feel overwhelmed with apathy – and the result would be I don’t read any emails at all!
This particular email however was a story about chickens and eagles, which I’m about to tell you now. The story came from Benny Hsu’s blog Get Busy Living, but I’ve seen it in different variants all over the internet. I rewrote it a bit, though, and I feel the need to spread it, because I’m a firm believer of this way of thinking, and a firm believer that you must pursue your dreams, or you’ll slowly die.
Once upon a time there was an eagle’s nest, on the highest peak upon a large mountain. There were 4 eggs in the nest, but after a horrible earthquake, one of the eggs fell down, left only 3 in the nest, on top of the highest peak on the large mountain.
The lost egg magically survived the fall, tumbling all the way down the mountain to the valley below; the chickens’ home. The chickens found the egg and cared for it, as if it were one of their own, and the day it hatched – though a beautiful eagle peaked out of its broken shell, they still considered him one of their own, and soon forgot where he came from.
The eagle had no idea he was different, and raised the same as all the chickens around him he had no reason believing he didn’t really belong. He was raised to be a chicken, and that was what he believed he was too. I don’t want to imply being a chicken is not good enough or to imply it’s not even enough, but the eagle was not a chicken – he was an eagle, thus he should live like one.
Somewhere deep inside the eagle somehow started to feel different, as if he were meant for another task in life, or for a completely different life. He was watching the mighty eagles up in the sky, and with envious eyes and a mind full of dreams, like a young one usually have, he told his chicken family and friends: “I want to fly like the eagles when I grow up, I want to be free to go wherever I like!”
Everyone laughed at him, because everybody knew chickens could not fly! Why even bother with such looneybin dreams?
The eagle kept looking up, though, wanting to be up there. At first he didn’t give up, but after being told it couldn’t be done time after time, he slowly began to believe them. He stopped telling his family and friends about his biggest and bravest dream, and worst of all he stopped dreaming, he stopped believing he could ever be more than just a chicken, because what was the point? He could never do it anyway.
So, the eagle continued his life, like a chicken, lived the remainder of his days untrue to himself, denying himself the most important thing in life – to pursue your dreams, to believe that anything is possible, as long as you’re willing to work for it.
When his days were up he died; he never even tried to fly. He died like the chicken he believed he was, but wasn’t, which he’d known had he only tried…
The moral of this story, which I completely fell for is that if you listen to the chickens around you, you’ll live and die like them – a chicken. Though you, yourself, might not be one, you might be an eagle. You might not be the same chicken just because your family are…
What if somewhere deep inside you, that eagle is just waiting to spread its wings, waiting for you to stop denying its flight?
I hold this story particularly close to heart, because I, as you who follow me know, just last year decided to follow my dream although the people around me have been screaming “It’s impossible!” for decades. Finally I cut the chains and decided to live my life, according to how I needed to live it.
I hope one day all of you will to. If you’re not already living it…