I headed straight to the sanctuary after work; the Bird Sanctuary, that is. Walking with purpose, increasing my pace, clearing my mind after a long day at work. I looked at the ducks, squirrels, rabbits, and various water fowl. I listened to the grunt of the neighborhood alligator and then I looked at the marshy waters edge.
There were 3 baby Moorhens and one had clambered up a reed and sat perched, looking as though it wanted to leap and test it’s wings. But it swayed frozen at the end of the reed. Suddenly the 2 other little Moorhens saw what their sibling had done, and they scrambled from the marshy patch to the reed and proceeded to compete at the base of it, in an attempt to climb to the top. They scrapped and wrestled and one finally got a grip and stepped on the head of the other and proceeded to climb past the catatonic sibling. Then it leapt with a few flutters of it’s wings, and plop, right onto the marshy bed below.
The other little Moorhen at the bottom of the reed then clambered up and pushed passed the still “frozen in time” sibling, and as with the other sibling, it fluttered and took it’s first crack at flight, landing practically on top of it’s brother. I watched with curiosity “What will the first Moorhen” ,still perched awkwardly in fear at the top of the swaying reed, “do?”.
Well, it sat awkwardly swaying, looking at the other two down below. It stretched it’s wings and took a firmer bracing stance and posture and then in a much more effective manner, flapped and “flew” (somewhat) to the marshy ground next to his brothers. They proceeded to run off and seek out other sport.
Of course my first impression was that this must be how the episodes of The Three Stooges were developed. It really was clumsy and comical. Second, as the mother of 3 boys, I reminisced over many such similar escapades that my sons attempted. Of course I am certain there are many escapades that I don’t know about and it is probably better that I don’t.
Third, I thought about how this is a reflection of so many scenarios in life. Leadership, ambition, initiative, camaraderie, and success. Each of these character qualities develop through relationship, trial and error, success and failure, observation, improving a standard (Best Practices), lots of struggle, teamwork, individualism and momentum.
The first Moorhen had an instinct, an impulse, an idea. he took initiative and because he was testing it out without a roadmap, he started slowly, cautiously, perhaps even fearfully. His initiative, even though he paused into a seemingly “frozen” state, drew the attention, curiosity, admiration, envy and ultimately the catalyst that drove the other two Moorhens to follow his path.
The other two followed the path of the first, they learned from his approach and built momentum, assured that the reed could hold them up. ( while their brother flailed at the top. ) The two launched out and in haste had fluttering first attempts at flight.
The first Moorhen observed the actions and outcome of his siblings, made some adjustments, regained some confidence and flapped instead of fluttering, and ultimately had the best “First Flight” of the 3. It was an important vantage point.
In life the vantage point is often for the first one who steps out. Those close by, often gain confidence by association and collectively they each motivate one another to move towards success, growth and flight.
There are some important “Vantage Points” in life:
- Work collaboratively.
- Branch out as needed.
- Learn from each other’s successes and failures.
- Look for a soft landing whenever possible, but if need be brace yourself and leap anyhow.
- Most importantly, don’t stay frozen, dangling at the top of a wavering reed.
- Leap, flap, fly and most of all have fun….