Humans and parrots share a great many traits and that’s why we usually get along with one another. We can be loving and affectionate, and both loyal and true, but we can also be prone towards envy and jealousy. Humans sometimes peer over the fence at their neighbours who have a bigger house or a more expensive car, while for parrots, it’s usually all about our iridescent feathers and how many toys we have.
Everyone knows that jealousy is a bad thing. In Shakespeare’s “Othello,” Iago says these classic lines:
“O, beware, my Lord, of jealousy; It is a green-ey’d monster, which doth mock The meat it feeds on.”
(William Shakespeare’s “Othello”: Act 3, Scene 3, 165-171 [Iago]).
And this is where I’d better come clean. Because over the last few days, I’ve become a bit jealous of another bird and I really don’t want to turn into a green-eyed monster! This bird’s bigger than me and has more feathers, and I’ve seen my owner carrying it around under his arm. And it’s not even some kind of splendid parrot. No, quite the opposite. It’s a simple chicken!
I know deep down that you can only be jealous of someone else if you believe they have something that you should have yourself. So is this chicken rich? No. Is it famous? No. (At least, it hasn’t started a “Christianchicken.com weekly blog yet). Is it beautiful? Not compared to me. Is it intelligent? No, it’s as thick as two planks. So WHY AM I jealous of this chicken? Well, it’s all because of the attention it’s been receiving from my owner. This chicken is something of an escapologist, so my owner’s been forever rounding it up and carrying it back to its run. That’s all! And yet I have to shamefully admit that I don’t like seeing my owner with another bird in his arms!
So what am I going to do about it? Well, for a start, I need to show more humility because the life I lead should never be all about me. For while real love looks through a telescope, jealously looks through a microscope. I need to be happy for other creatures around me and learn to be grateful for what I have. And I take a leaf out of Pope Francis’ book on this when he says:
“When I am jealous, I must say to the Lord: ‘Thank you Lord for you have given this to that person’.”
(Pope Francis: 1936-present: Leader of the Catholic Church).
Gratitude will always be the antidote to jealousy. A simple gratitude for all we have ourselves and towards everything that those around us enjoy in their lives. For gratitude is the elixir that can transform lives…
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves.”