I was re-reading a book last evening by the late Anthony de Mello where a parable was shared in the Forward. It reminded me how much we shape our own reality in all areas of life by the labels and limitations we place upon ourselves. Here’s the story…
“A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.
All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that” he asked. “That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. we belong to the earth–we’re chickens.” So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.”
We’re all shackled or unleashed by the tales we tell ourselves; these same “stories” shape our decisions, our actions, and ultimately our results. Who and what we are; what we deserve and what we’re capable of being or becoming. Where, how, and with whom we spend our time–all defined by our perception of ourselves.
Certainly circumstance and surroundings have a profound influence on the opportunities we see and seize. Fortunately in today’s 24/7 live stream of life and living on the Internet and beyond, most of us have an exposure to other people, potentials, and possibilities that exist in the world.
Here’s a challenge–first examine your own beliefs about who you are and what you’re capable of being and becoming. Then find someone who can benefit from the model you’ve created in changing your perceptions. It might just be that by learning to soar, you can teach others to fly.