Birdwatching offers some lessons on life

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It will come as no surprise to many of you, but I have officially gone to the birds.

Some who don't share my political views are surely not surprised.

With a couple of bird feeders, I have a newfound "hobby" of feeding birds and watching their antics.

For weeks now, I have entertained myself with far too many hours of bird watching.

I have yet to purchase a bird watching guide because I'm no more than a pedestrian in the feathered world.

But I have made some observations that are abundantly clear.

Birds don't embrace diversity. The old adage "birds of a feather flock together" is accurate.

And the term "pecking order" is all too clear in the world of birds. Might is right. There is a distinct feeding arrangement and the order is based on size and strength and might.

And the last lesson is that given a choice between fending for themselves or taking a handout from others, birds will line up for their free food until they forget how to feed themselves.

Birds use their size and aggressiveness to dominate the chow line. These larger birds determine who eats first, who eats most and who sits on the ground waiting for the leftovers.

I won't get too philosophical and try to make some learned comparison between the avian world and the world of man. Yet some of those lessons are clear.

Without our mental capacity, birds turn to the only available option to survive in their world - might.

I assume some birds are in fact smarter than others and I assume that advantage serves them well perhaps. I can't yet tell.

But I assure you, the bird who arrives at the feeding table with the most power eats first, eats best and eats most.

So here's the lesson for you political junkies. Like birds, those countries who display the might have the advantage. And those who forfeit that might - as some would advocate - are apt to dance to the tune of the stronger.

Granted, they're just birds. But sometimes you learn important lessons in places you would not normally look.

Those on the left who advocate reduced military strength for our country, run the risk of repositioning our place at the dinner table.

Please don't tell me this column is for the birds. Frankly, I'm growing tired of the same liberal refrain when it comes to arguments with which they disagree.

Unlike George Orwell's Animal Farm, we are not birds and birds are not us.

Yet despite the obvious differences, there's lessons to be learned. And sometimes these lessons are learned on a patio chair, with a cup of coffee and time on your hands.

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