“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” Albert Einstein
Last spring I wrote about the male and female cardinal couple that fought the birds who dared enter their territory, only it was their reflection that they fought. Their enemies were themselves.
This year the battle had once again begun. My peaceful home reverberated with Tommy gun rat-a-tat-tats from determined beaks. I sighed and rolled my eyes. Will they ever learn?
I watched them through the window and noticed that the birds attacking my house were much younger than the bird pair last year. Hmmmm, could it be the offspring of last year’s pair.
Okay, I’m a writer. So my imagination took over. I could just imagine Jr. peering over the sticks, strings, and grass woven into his nest. Dad is perched over him grumbling, “Who do those birds think they are? Well, I’ll show them if it wears my beak to a nub!” With that he makes a little hop to give him lift and swoops to the window, beating the window, feathers flying all over the place, then returning to the branch that supports the nest. Jr thinks, when I grow up, I’m going to be just like Dad!
Poor Jr. bird. He looks up to Dad. Dad is his hero. But what is Dad doing? What is he passing on to his little bird son?
I read a quote by Saint Francis of Assisi that said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” This is an accurate portrayal of how our actions speak louder than words. Do we want to teach others in our folly or in our wisdom?
We all have good and sincere advice, but it is our example that people hear. Are you fighting the reflection in the window? Do you have issues that you need to work out? That’s okay, we all do. What is important is that we deal with our demons and not procrastinate because others are hearing our example.