I came across a beautiful story that reminded me of a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine. Our discussion was about the unexpected and sometimes devastating turns our life journey may bring. Wisely, my friend went on to tell me about the upside of forest fires and how it makes way for new growth, new trees, and life.
When older trees die and younger trees aren’t there to replace them, the balance of the forest is thrown off. Forest fires will clear much of the dry underbrush and clutter, giving new trees and plants an opportunity to get the necessary sunlight and room to grow.
I was reminded of this story:
A rich man received a gift from a friend. It was a green parrot in a beautiful golden cage.
“I got this talking parrot, especially for you from India. Just feed this parrot chilies and hear its beautiful songs,” said the friend.
The rich man loved the parrot very much and took good care of her. On rainy days, the rich man looked outside the window and asked the parrot, “Aren’t you happy you don’t have to be out in the cold now?” The parrot always answered, “Yes, my friend. So happy. Thank you for keeping me warm and safe.
One day, the rich man announced to his family that he would be going on a business trip for a few weeks to India and asked his family, “What does everyone want?”
“Bring me a beautiful silk cloth,” said his wife.
“Toys! I want a toy cart that can follow me wherever I go,” said his daughter.
The rich man turned to the parrot, “What about you, my friend? What do you want?”
The parrot sighed, “Master if you see green parrots in India, will you please inform them that I am alive and well? Tell them I live in a big house in a beautiful golden cage.”
The rich man promised to pass on the message and left.
The rich man walked around his hotel, and while enjoying the sun, he came across a group of parrots. He walked up to them, “Friend parrots, I bring a message to you from one of your sisters from far, far away”
One of the parrots flew and landed on the rich man’s shoulder. “Is that so?” it said, “We hope she is safe.”
“Oh yes! She lives in a beautiful golden cage. I feed her tasty food. She wanted you to know that she is alive and well,” said the rich man.
Hearing this, the parrot sitting on the merchant’s shoulder shivered and fell to the ground. The rich man was alarmed and tried to wake up the parrot. But it lay still!
“What have I done?” he cried, “All I wanted to do was pass on a message. I didn’t know this parrot would die!”
The rich man slowly got up and left for home, humbled by the experience.
He was greeted at the door by his wife and daughter. He gave them the gifts he had brought for them. Then he turned to the parrot.
“Did you pass on the message to my friends? What did they say?” asked the parrot excitedly.
“I delivered the message as you asked me to. But after listening to it, one of your friends shivered and fell to the ground. I am afraid your friend died. I am so sorry,” said the rich man sadly.
The parrot went still. And then she, too, shivered and fell. The rich man cried out, “Oh my God! Why is this happening?”
He opened the cage door and gently lifted the parrot out. He felt sorry for his beloved bird.
He took the bird out to the garden to bury it.
After digging the hole, he turned to lift the bird. Just then, the parrot sat up and flew to a nearby tree top.
The rich man was both shocked and happy. “Friend parrot, I am so happy you are alive. But why did you fall down?”
“The parrot who fell down wasn’t actually dead. She was sending me a message,” said the parrot with a smile, “The open sky is any day better than a golden cage. She also showed the way to escape the cage.”
“I never realized you were sad in the cage,” said the rich man.
The parrot replied: “Me too, my friend”.
“Fly away, my friend. Fill the world with your beautiful song.” said the rich man. The parrot flapped its wings and flew toward the open sky.”
To build resilience, you must have social support that encourages growth. And sometimes you will have to die while you are still alive, so you can live a new, better, and fuller life.
Do something amazing,