On the first day of the year, I have a story to tell…

 

Two months ago at my son’s second birthday our friends got him two Canary birds; a male and a female. They came very young. Those of you who know me well, are familiar with the fact that I don’t really feel comfortable around creatures. However though, I took care of the birds: feeding them, changing their water daily, cleaning after them. I would take them out in the sun for some fresh air and talk to them (sometimes, because hey they’re living beings!) – No emotional bond. In time, I started to actually like them and the idea of having them. And I always had this guilty feeling, because God has created wings for birds to fly, not to be locked in cages, not matter how beautiful or valuable they are. But with this feeling of guilt, I couldn’t actually allow them to fly in the house, because feathers literally gave me the same feeling you get when someone drags their fingernails across a blackboard – complete discomfort!

Back to our story, after a little over 2 months, we found the female birdie died. No reasons. And that left a big question, that is… what’ll happen to the little guy in the cage? And there were 3 options. Option 1: We keep him and bring a bird or more so that he’s not alone. Option 2: let him go. And option 3: Return him back to the shop. Well, option 3 wasn’t even negotiable for me, because then it’ll be sold again and I just hate that. I also hated option 1, because we don’t actually let them out during the day, and that means they’re locked out all the time. And thus, option 2  it was… We opened all 3 cage doors, but to our surprise, the bird didn’t fly out. We tried to push him to go out, but he didn’t. The poor little guy didn’t know that there’s a whole world outside his small cage. Or maybe he was so scared because he’s never been on his own…he’s never flown!

After a while, he managed to get out, but again, to our surprise, we just found him sitting under the window. He didn’t know how to fly. Maybe I was so surprised because I didn’t know much about birds, but it broke my heart that a bird didn’t know how to fly, and that’s our fault. Long story short, we wanted to help him and knew he wasn’t going to survive that way, so we went down with the cage, and he jumped back to the cage. Just. Like. That.

 

Anyways, the moral of this story is, do NOT be like a house bird. Do not feel stuck, because you’re not. Do not let yourself be locked inside your own cage, because there is a whole world behind those bars. Sometimes, our cages are the ones we created ourselves. Sometimes, we allow others to limit us. Either way, do not let that happen to you. Aim for what’s beyond. And no matter what, if you managed to get out. DO NOT walk back into the cage.

You see, I’ve always wondered what’s wrong with what people call “comfort-zone”. It sounds good and of course, it feels good. Then why is everyone always advising you not to stay in your comfort zone? Why do they say nothing grows out of your comfort zone? And why is everybody obsessed with pulling you out of your comfort zone? What a cruel world!

But, now I finally got it. This little bird made me see what’s behind a comfort-zone. A comfort zone is not necessarily a place where you feel comfortable, it’s a place where you feel safe and familiar. You create walls around yourself, and you feel familiar to how they contain you. You get used to that feeling of safety, that you feel threatened by the thought of going outside. And I’m here telling you: Go outside, explore the world, you’ll get played, you’ll get lied to, and you’ll get hurt, but you’ll experience things that you’d never have thought of experiencing inside your own walls. So get out… it’s not all bad. Life is full of opportunities. Quit procrastinating! Push your own limits and step out. You’ll definitely learn how to survive. And always remember, the worst kind of cages, is the cage of thoughts that we create around ourselves to limit us. For if you surrendered to it, it’ll change you, to be that house bird for good.

 

Want to know what happened to our little fella? Well, I had a plan for him, that is. I was going to bring him another bird, place the cage in the garden and put some leaves on its top to provide the shade. I always ensure that they have clean food and water, leaving the doors always open, so they can fly, and go back home. Little did I know, that time was way faster than my action. My little bird peacefully passed away today. Without any known reason. As sad as I am, I am really grateful for having learned such a huge lesson, from such a small gentle creature. This bird has not only taught me that I should break my own walls and get out of the cage I locked myself in, and never step back in it. It also taught me to stop all the procrastination, and to take actions, no more pushing things for “later”. Because time passes by very quickly and It won’t wait for me to move. It won’t wait for anyone.

Wherever she goes, she’s probably chasing a dream of hers, riding her magical carpet of passion. Passant comes from a political science, Euro-Mediterranean background. She worked with asylum-seekers and refugees for a few years, and even wrote her thesis on child migrants. Taking her passion to the next level, she climbed onboard TDC’s platform to be able to spread her message that it’s not just about us, Humans! It’s about every living creature on Mama Earth. Speaking of messages, if there’s one message Passant would love to share with the whole world, that’d be… “Puh-leaaase, BE KIND” – (Said in a very kind tone!)