Friday, January 23, 2015
A FLOCK OF GULLS
My home town is often called River City. Our main street which runs through downtown is Broadway. And the street runs directly to the conjunction of the Ohio and the Tennessee rivers. Drivers and pedestrians alike come to the river every day. It has a boat ramp for the fishermen and skiers and is also used to host musical events on a stage which is erected close to the rivers bank. This is really a quaint place to either sit or walk by and take in the sights. The river is usually full of barges hauling goods down the river and pleasure boats and fishing boats can be seen often. I take time to either drive down to the river front or take a walk and sit on one of the benches any chance I have. It is a very beautiful place to visit. Over the years I came to find out that in the winter when the weather is cold the riverfront is oft times filled with river gulls. These beautiful birds have learned to come when the weather is cold and they find many people there who take time to scatter bread crumbs for them to feast on. One day as I stopped my truck I noticed all the gulls which were sitting in groups. As soon as I pulled up and stopped they all looked at me as if to say "Well, you got anything for us?" Then as I rolled down my windows they immediately flocked to where I was sitting. They are so accustomed to seeing people feed them from their car that they assumed I was going to do the same. However, since I didn't have any thing to share with them they quickly left my truck and went back to their own groups. As I continued to watch all at once they all took off and headed for the same direction. I turned and saw that a car had pulled up a bit farther down the drive and had begun to scatter pieces of bread. They quickly became a swarm, fighting at times violently, as they tired to get their share of the food. As the pieces fell to the ground they all pushed shoved and prodded others out of the way. As I watched the man in the car got out and stood on the riverfront. He held out a entire piece of bread and held it aloft to see if any of the gulls would take it directly from his hand. Most would fly almost right up to the bread, hover for a few seconds, and then dart off with no reward. But I finally did see one gull who evidently was a little braver, fly right up to the man's hand and take the piece of bread and flew away. As he left I noticed several of the other gulls who had been afraid to do what the brave gull did. They started chasing him and trying to take the bread away from him. Finally the piece of bread fell from his mouth and landed on the parking lot. As that happened the other gulls quickly started fighting over the crumbs. I then saw the brave one fly back to the gentleman standing and holding another slice of bread. Once again he took it directly from the man's hand and flew away. This time none of the other gulls chased him as he flew away. They were all too busy fighting for the crumbs and did not know he had made off with another hunk of bread. After seeing this I began to think about how the actions of the gulls were so similar to our own human family. We can get so accustomed to looking for our good in one place that we continue to be content instead of looking for new places to find our "bread". And like the gulls who continued to fight with each over the crumbs below, they failed to look further up to find even a greater good. Those gulls who were afraid to take a chance and grab the bread form the man's hand were content to settle for a few crumbs while much bigger things were possible if only they dared to face their fears. The brave gull who got the greatest reward did so by risking his fate to try something different. And those who chased and made him drop the first piece were akin to those humans who instead of flying higher and taking chances seem to be content trying to take from others who are braver. How often do we fight each other for material gain? Why are some of us brave enough to try different avenues to receive our rewards while others had rather try and take it from those who earned it? I wish I knew that answer. I think it is a shame that so many of us are willing to settle for crumbs while we could be going after much bigger rewards. And those who prey on those who have succeeded on no better than the gulls scraping just to get by. The gulls know no better but we as humans should know the difference between right and wrong. I wish all of us would at this moment could take a quick lesson from that one brave gull I saw who was not afraid to soar higher and take a chance. This human family should be striving to find ways to help all of us attain peace, love, and abundance. If we continue to keep fighting over the crumbs eventually we will all lose. My hope for you this moment is that you decide to fly a little higher and live a life that is truly rewarding. I bless you all.