A Food Chain of Teachers

7 years ago

For days on end a little titmouse has flown against the vaulted window in our front room. Starting at daybreak and returning again and again until nightfall, it seems to want entrance or passage –persistently undaunted by the fact that neither is obtainable.

Trying to see from its point of view, we removed an eye-level reproduction of a little red cardinal perched in a silk plant on top a bookcase. It made no difference whatsoever. Bonk, bonk, bonk, its little beak repeatedly sounds its single-minded, albeit questionable, undertaking. It’s getting a little on my nerves.

On the other hand, I really have to smile. The little titmouse is acting so human!

We are all aware of a myriad of quotes venerating resolve, tenacity, perseverance –and for the most part we would do well to internalize the wisdom they embody.

Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. ~Louis Pasteur

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison

But, watching the little titmouse that doesn’t seem able to figure it out, I got to thinking about how bullheaded we can all be at times –and that it is easier to see this in someone else than in ourselves. Believe me, I speak for myself, and my husband will vouch for it!

So, a bit tongue-in-cheek, I offer a quote by W.C. Fields:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There is no point in being a damn fool about it.

At the same time, our sweet CiCi has been fascinated by a fishbowl I temporarily put on the coffee table recently. (The fish is in solitary confinement because he turned aggressive in my larger community-friendly fish tank.) I caught her in a similar, so human stance –obsession with no hope of results.

Ah, a food chain of teachers!

Persistence must engage real outcomes or it is sheer futility. Aggressive behavior can destroy community. Obsession in itself is pointless with no reliable plan of action.

All this –and it’s only the middle of January!

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