The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
All parrots need to have a bit of “play time.” We like to have things that we can gnaw or preen, things that we can swing on, and things that make a noise. And a small industry has sprung up to supply playthings for parrots.
My owner gets a 92 page catalogue through the post which features every kind of “parrotphernalia.” Bells, rattles, balls, roller-skates and parrot gymnasiums all feature. And there are many wonderfully named toys such as “The Holey Roley”, “The Parrot Boing,” “The Happy Snuggle Tent,” “The Busy Beak Teaser”, “The Chewtastic”, not to mention the “Parrot Loo Rolls” for shredding.
Photography: Blue Maize
I never quite understand why humans go to the trouble of making all these things for parrots when they need to have a lot more fun themselves. You see, humans can be far too serious. They need their downtime just like we do, but so many of them seem to exist in a world that is devoid of humour and fun. And the problem is that they become trapped within the confines of human expectation.
They are often told to “work, work, work” or “study, study, study” or “achieve, achieve, achieve!” To spend more hours in the office. To bring in more money for the company. To bring home more money for themselves. To appear “successful” in worldly terms. And maybe to even become a human celebrity. But at what cost? What are they really doing to themselves and to others in the process?
Wise, old parrots will tell you that life has become much more serious for humans over the last 40 years. And it’s no surprise that during this period, the recorded rates of anxiety and depression amongst humans have soared significantly. South Korea now has the highest suicide rate of all the developed countries in the world amongst its children of school age. It’s also the country that makes its children work harder than any other with their studies.
When this excessive “serious” side of life is pushed to its extremes, it can present an opportunity for evil to raise its ugly head amongst humans. There was never any genuine humour or fun under the rule of the Nazi Party or the Fascist regimes in Chile and Spain, or the old Communist regimes in East Germany, the Soviet Union and Cambodia. The same can be said for dictatorships such as North Korea. When humour and fun disappear, love and compassion go too. And then all society begins to suffer, and left unchecked, appalling human atrocities can follow.
So where do God and Jesus fit into all this? Do they have a sense of humour? Well, you certainly won’t find jokes in the Bible, or moments when Jesus let his hair down to become “one of the lads.” But consider this. God must have a sense of humour and fun to have created parrots! The way we look. The way we talk. The way we walk. And the way in which some of our number have outrageously extravagant crests!
At the end of the day, God wants what is best for us all as individuals. He wants us to be in touch with Him, and to live amongst ourselves in peace, love and harmony. I believe that the “right” sort of fun and humour can go a long way in achieving this. As with everything in life, it’s all about achieving a sensible balance. There is nothing wrong with working hard and doing your best and being serious about things so long as this is counterbalanced with downtime.
So, maybe humans need to start making themselves a brand new range of toys. Foot rattles. Nose bells. The “Loo Roll Whirly Swirly.” And you could throw some “Happy Snuggle Tents” into the mix as well. Because to truly find the essence of God, and to stay in touch with Him, we all need to experience humour, fun and relaxation in our lives. It’s not all about the serious stuff!