All together now…

Funny how things come to mind – when you’re mindlessly watching birds take a bath, like how a few different types can be at the bath together – wait their turn and not seem to mind the other birds waiting and sometimes a few birds want the bath all to themselves. Most birds don’t like the occasional dove that comes by for a drink and blue birds don’t like anyone in their bath but the cardinals, wrens, and finches don’t seem to mind each other.

So my lesson today is simply this – do you let anyone come to your table? Do you welcome them or tolerate them? Do you treat them with kindness or let them fend for themselves, do you make a space for them or crowd them out. Believe it or not bird watching reminds me a lot about how people treat each other. I attended a committee meeting the other day. The blue jays were not happy to see others at “their” table. It wasn’t an issue of race or political affiliation but of ideas, perceived intelligence, and social standing.

It became very clear that not everyone was welcomed at that table and since I struggle to pay attention anyway and the meeting was boring I decided I’d watch the body language of each of the cast of characters, my version of watching my little birds at the bath, and I’ll admit it became a source of joy and sadness for me to observe. Since I wasn’t in charge I could only smile and nod at the other guests at the table – I offered water and coffee and a few jokes to help break the ice in hopes to bring them into the fold. Sometimes they spoke (in hushed tones) other times their tone for the conversation seemed to be edgy – probably because they instinctively knew how a few at the table viewed them so my attempt to bring them to the table and make sure they were part of the team didn’t work so well. I didn’t have much luck for two reasons…

1st – they allowed the posturing of the blue jays at the table mess with their head and thus they “kept their head down…”

2nd – those who really didn’t want them there – would not make eye contact or help them carry the ball – so to speak when they made a comment.

So it was a 2-way street… not feeling welcome and not being welcomed by a few at the table…