You know, in many ways, parrots have it made. We’re naturally beautiful but brainy as well. We usually have bright colours which help us in the art of self-promotion. And even if all that fails, we can still fall back upon our cacophony of whistles and squawks, as well as our tricks and tomfoolery to announce our presence to the world. Yes, I’m afraid that the majority of parrots are dreadful exhibitionists, myself included.
Some humans can be the same, but there are also many that go about their daily lives hidden from the gaze of the world. Sometimes they prefer to live this way; sometimes it’s because they’re struggling, or elderly, or caring for someone, or suffering from poor health themselves. And when a human finds themselves in this position, they have to learn the art of humility; to be grateful for what they have as they settle for less than others around them. And it is these humans that are often the real gems in our society; the folk that quietly make a real difference to the lives of others around them even when they’re hidden away from view.
Since my book came out last year, I’ve come into contact with quite a few humans like this. For example, there’s an elderly widow in Gloucester. She’s in a small retirement flat and her health is beginning to fail. She suffers from both asthma and a serious heart condition and has been in and out of hospital. So how can she make a difference to the world? Well, she prays every day and she gives to charity. Amongst other things, she dug deep into her pension to buy a shelter for a family of Ukrainian refugees. For them this was the most incredible gift.
So from my parrot perspective, I reckon that this kind of humility should be a virtue that the human world reveres, but sadly it’s often viewed as weakness. Take Muhammad Ali. He once said:
“At home I am a nice guy; but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”
(Muhammad Ali: 1942-2016: African-American world boxing champion)
And Bob Hope came out with something similar:
“I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it.”
(Bob Hope: 1903-2003: American comedian and entertainer)
And there’s rarely anything humble in the way many humans go about their daily “busyness”, especially “big busyness.” As Jean Paul Getty once said:
“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”
(Jean Paul Getty: 1892-1976: American industrialist renowned for making a vast personal fortune.)
So in many ways, humility serves as the battle-ground between the will of God and the will of humans and parrots. Between the ways of the world and the way of Heaven. And maybe a great many of us still have to learn from the example of Jesus when He came to Earth in human form…
“But He (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians: 12: 9-10)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
(Philippians 2: 3-4)
It’s time for Coco’s Summer holiday so he’s setting off on a five week long migration. He’ll be back at the beginning of October when his weekly blogs will resume.