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  • Writer's pictureCoco

Coco Calling No.216 - Finding Joy

An endearing fact about parrots is that we’re normally eternal optimists, and just get on with our daily lives irrespective of what’s going on around us. Humans can be rather different; they sometimes over-complicate their lives, and then end up feeling down-in-the-dumps.

OK. It hasn’t stopped raining for a whole month! And yes, the nights are growing longer, and the days are getting colder. And if you listen to the human news, then all you get is a negative deluge about the behaviour of politicians, the state of the economy, and the worsening crisis that’s affecting the world’s climate. If I was a human, I really wouldn’t bother getting up in the morning!

So let me offer you all a touch of parrot wisdom. If you try hard to have one, small, positive thought, rattling around in your head when you wake up in the morning, it can help to set you up for the entire day ahead and change everything for the better. When I first open a sleepy eye on my perch, I always try to count my blessings. For example, I know there will be food and water in my pots. I have a nice perch to sit on. I reside with a human family that loves me. And I know I’ve been crafted by a loving Creator. What more could a bird want?

I’m never understood why humans have this burning desire to make themselves feel miserable. They have this daily ritual of keeping up with the news, but I reckon that the editors compiling it are all suffering from manic depression. The good news stories get overlooked, and instead, everyone gets bombarded by one negative feature after another. And the overall effect is to make all of the human audience feel twice as bad as when they started out. Day after day, humans pursue this cycle of filling their brains with negativity, and then wonder why they don’t feel better about life.

Of course, if it were parrots producing the news, everyone would be left feeling ecstatic. Or failing that, how about a “can-do” news editor like Winston Churchill? He once said:

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

(Winston Churchill: 1874-1965: Former U.K. Prime Minister and U.K. leader during World War II).

If only humans could change the way they think, they’d make their lives a whole lot better. So instead of focussing on who’s died today, why not see how many new lives have just come into the world? And if we don’t like the dark and cold of Winter, then let’s look forward to the warmth of Spring that is to follow. Because that’s exactly what God will provide us with. In the same way as He offers us life after death. And now we’re beginning to get somewhere!

Jesus always preached that it was better for us to give than to receive. And the “giving” here can mean a great many things. For example, it can mean a generosity of spirit towards others even when we’re tempted to expose their failings or to find fault with them. Or trying to forgive someone that’s upset us. Or offering a helping hand to a human or creature that’s in need. Or simply smiling at someone that has a glum expression on their face. If we can only begin each day with the goal of spreading a little joy to others around us, then we will discover a whole big bundle of joy ourselves.

“When you give joy to other people, you get more joy in return. You should give a good thought to the happiness that you can give out.”

(Eleanor Roosevelt: 1884-1962: Wife of former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

(Romans 15:13)


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