Goals and Paths: A Lesson from Mr. Slow Bird

Mr. Slow Bird’s Fine Feathered Friend

 Every time I drive through my little suburban neighborhood, I see 10-inch splats of gray feathers, flattened to the road. Sad to say, we’ve got the slowest birds in the world.

Just a few days ago, I drove down the little asphalt street, maneuvering through the corridor of parked cars and well-kept yards. I wondered about the dinner I was to cook that night as I turned the corner of the hedge-lined block. Then I saw him…Mr. Slow Bird.

Unassuming and gray in feathers, Mr. Slow Bird seemed like a spot on the road from the distance of a block away. He, with his large body and toothpick legs, clumsily plopped off the curb and onto the black asphalt, seemingly aiming to intersect my path. I slowed down to a mere 25 miles an hour, hoping to give this poor creature a lot of time to turn around and rethink his journey.

Mr. Slow Bird kept walking.

I revved a slight warning from my engine, hoping he would flee like one of our neighborhood dogs or cats or other intelligent species of birds. The realization that a 2000+ pound vehicle was about to roll over the asphalt he walked upon did not seem to cross his mind.

Mr. Slow Bird kept walking

Halfway through the block, I slowed down to 10 miles per hour. Then to five miles per hour. (It’s a good thing no one was behind me.) I wanted to give Mr. Slow Bird every opportunity to change his mind, change his path and save himself from possible doom.

Mr. Slow Bird still kept walking.

Finally, my car drove so close that Mr. Slow Bird was completely out of view from my windshield. I slowed down even further, (to a total crawl,) hoping that Mr. Slow Bird would get out of there. I certainly did not want to be responsible for another splat on the road.

Silence. No sign of Mr. Slow Bird.

More silence.

Finally, out the corner of my side window, the gray poof of an oblivious bird kept walking at the same pace he started from the other side of the road. He casually moved his toothpick legs like a mechanical toy and, with great effort, he hopped onto the other curb. I’m not sure that he even noticed how close a call he’d had.

Whew! Mr. Slow Bird was safe.

There were several questions that came to my mind as a result of my close call with Mr. Slow Bird. Perhaps these questions pertain to us, also.

1. Why didn’t he just fly? Surely, he must have known that there was a better way to cross the road. He must have known that he was perfectly capable of flying. He’s a bird! Why didn’t he use his bird-flying powers? Perhaps he didn’t know.

What about you? Are there talents and possibilities of greatness that exist in your life? Are there qualities about you that remain untapped? What are you doing now to use those gifts? (What introspective questions!)

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed writing. After not writing anything substantial for quite a while, I realized this was an untapped, underused talent and interest that I was not utilizing well. Then it clicked! I knew I needed to do something about it.

This leads us to the next question concerning Mr. Slow Bird…

2. Why, when there were warning signs of impending doom, did he still continue on the same path? Mr. Slow Bird must have heard my car engine. He must have seen the gray vehicle coming down his path. Why did he keep on walking into the path of doom? Why didn’t he hurry up?

How about you? Are there aspects in your life that need changing? Do you continue on the same path of habits, thoughts and goals? All of these need constant reevaluating in order for us to realize where we’re at in order to plot the best path to get to where we’re going. Sometimes, we do need to make changes in our paths.

As I mentioned before, I realized that I needed to make a change in my path in order to utilize my writing skills. After thinking about it for some time, I chose the new path. Thus was born the idea to create this site.

Now, the third question I had about Mr. Slow Bird was…

3. Did Mr. Slow Bird learn anything from this experience? Did he realize how close he was to becoming a statistical splat on the road? Did he wonder what he could do better in the future to avoid impending doom?

Did he look back at it and think, “Whew, I’ve learned from this experience. I’ll never do that again!”

What about us? Do we learn from our own experiences?

Do we take the time out to say, “Hey, I made a mistake…next time, I’m going to do it differently.”

Perhaps we should.

From my perspective, creating this website is more complicated than I thought. While I can write, I am not technically savvy. There is a great learning curve and I am constantly making mistakes.

For example, I wrote a whole article last night and I didn’t save it. One glitch in my computer caused two hours of my work to be lost. I think I learned something from this, and I will make a greater effort to constantly save my work. 🙂

However, perhaps we can all take a cue from Mr. Slow Bird’s experience and evaluate the paths we are traveling. Now, I’m not a bird expert. I don’t know if I’m much of a people expert, either.

One thing I know for sure…


Stay away from slow birds!


The Happy Balance Girl

Copyright 2015 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui

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