OUTLOOK — By Majed Al Sulaimany — The birds fly because they know they can! Have you ever felt like a bird trapped in a cage? I do not like to keep or see birds kept in a cage! These beautiful creatures were meant to spread out their wings and fly — of course, with the exception of birds like ostriches because ‘they are too heavy’ to fly — though they can run very fast — or some even fly low for some stretches!
If I were a bird I would definitely ask myself — Would I like all the food, water, attention and care in a cage or would I prefer to take risks and challenges in my life, being a bird that is free to fly out in the open world and be the master of my own fate, destiny and legacy?
A long time ago my twin daughter had kept some birds but later on one of the birds died. She wanted me to replace it but when no one was looking I set free the other one because it was so distressed, banging itself all around the cage! Last week they went to Dubai and left the 'new caged birds' with me. It was again very distressing for me!
Once a friend showed me a bird that she kept locked up in a small cage. She said that the bird was very “smart” and had tried on numerous occasions to break free. I looked at the colourful little thing as it tried to peck its way out of the bars of the cage. It fluttered about, shaking its wings furiously. But to no avail!
I listened to my friend who went on and on saying that the bird was intelligent enough to lift the cage door but as it was about to fly she had caught it and locked up the door. I reminded my good friend that ‘birds were created to fly!’
Now, I do not spend much attention on birds but I really felt sorry for them. As they spread out their wings and try to fly, they could not. They have been caged for a very long time!
Humans are a bit strange, wanting to cage up these beautiful birds in small spaces. I have been asked what kind of animal I would like to be if I could be one. The same question was asked by a good Indian friend who believes in reincarnation. He had asked me: “In your next life what would you like to be M?”
The answer I usually give is that I would like to be an eagle and soar above the clouds through the skies and look down on the earth. Unfortunately, this bird in the cage could not do that! It could not do what it was naturally born to do. It really was very strange and sad too!
I think there is a lesson here for us. Don’t you ever feel like you are a bird, trapped in a cage? Sometimes you feel like you can soar into the skies? You try as hard as you can to escape monotony, boredom and pain. Yet you feel like you keep ending up in your same cage?
Fortunately for us, we actually have more freedom. We have choice. We have the ability to challenge and change our circumstances. Many of the “cages” of human existence are in our mind. All mainly fear-based and psychological!
My Indian friend was telling me that despite the elephant's intelligence and smartness, human beings are able to control, dominate and manipulate them — except in a few rare cases — when the elephants run amok! When the elephant is small one of its feet is chained to a log and as they grow bigger, the chain also gets bigger.
A grown up elephant can easily break up the chain if it really wants to but it has grown up believing that it cannot do so! This sticks in the elephant's mind even after it has fully grown up!
Entrepreneurs, social innovators and people seeking more passion in their lives should remember this truth: The limits upon you are only the that which you place upon yourself. Only those that try can know how far out they can go!
We have all heard of the story of the young bat who asked his mother: “Am I a mouse or a bird?” The mother said: “Dear son why you ask?” The son replies: “When I fly with the other birds they say I am not a bird but a mouse! When I go to the mice they run away from me telling me I am a bird! Who am I?
The mother replies: “You are neither a bird nor a mouse! You are a bat! Do not forget that my son! Keep to your own kind, the others will just not accept you because you are different. Be proud of what you are!
A lesson to those of us who are deceived or deceive ourselves to belong to where we are simply not wanted, or even accepted only to be used! Till it is too late — learn the bitter real truth! Mice do not fly! Take Care!