Ornithology of Man

I have been thinking about this on a very serious level for the past couple of weeks. How the company one keeps powerfully affects that person’s perspective and attitude. People like to think loyalty is first and foremost when it comes to selecting and keeping friends, but the truth of the matter is that people rub off on each other. When that person’s energy holds you back or negatively affects your outlook, what then? Is your loyalty for you alleged friends more important that your loyalty for yourself? When you flock together with birds that are unlike you, what happens when you begin to become like them?

Everything in your life influences you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. I’m not saying you should abandon all thoughts of personal responsibility. I’m saying quite the opposite: You choose your fate and you choose your company. All I’m saying is that you should do so wisely. You will never fly if you are encumbered by dead weight and any true friends should both appreciate and respect that. That is how you can tell who is truly in your corner. If you can step back from a person for your own growth and then come back to someone else who has also progressed, that is someone who belongs in your life. If you come back to a person who has stayed in the same place, but is complaining about where they are, then you should proceed to keep distance.

My father once told me that if you don’t like your life, you should change it. It sounds very simple, but it’s very true. Just do it. I’m finding that people really do let fear completely control their decision making. I’m learning that there are several types of birds. Categories people can fall under. I know this sounds like something that someone might find in a self-help book, but just take this walk with me for a moment. I swear I could write an entire book on this, but for now I’ll only speak on it a little.

The first category is the chicken. These are people who are simply there to feed the success of others. They are unable to fly and are far too afraid to make any waves themselves. Chickens may be delicious, but they are very well integrated into their places. They will stay there for the use of others.

Then comes the dodo. These are the ones who are completely fearless, but rush into situations without thinking things through. They have big ideas, but are too impatient to plan. Sometimes they can can your attention, but following their lead always ends in extinction.

Next up is the water fowl. This one has a few subcategories. You have beautiful swans, the lowly mallards and demanding geese. Each of these birds has its own benefits, but you rarely see them alone. They are willing to move forward, but they can’t do it without the support of family and friends. They need a solid flight formation to do anything.

Penguins are the birds who live solely for family and love. They are flightless, but they are excellent swimmers and willing to dive in and explore the waters for adventure and love. These birds seek what it is they want and lock it down. Stability is the word for penguins. They build for the comfort of their loved ones and do what they must to keep them close.

Finally we have birds of prey. These are the ones who are willing to leap from the nest in order to learn to fly. Once they learn, they fly as high as they can until they die or lose the ability. Their flight capability is unmatched and even the sight of their shadows from overhead can send those creatures beneath them running. One thing that makes them so majestic, is their ability to live a solitary existence without hindrance. The other thing is their ability to adapt to both the wilderness and urban environments. This is the group I feel I belong to.

There are many other types of birds and thus people, but these are the ones that have come into my mind the most prominently as of late. Birds of a feather flock together. You are judged by the company you keep and before you know it, you may become the company you keep. Choose your influences wisely. This is a lesson I have learned most prominently over the past year. I want to fly as high as I can, I need a clear sky free wings.