The other day, a commotion just outside a window at our house caught my attention. Since I couldn’t see what was causing it from where I was sitting, I jumped up like a detective in hopes of solving a case.
I peered through the blinds only to see an angry squirrel sitting on the window’s ledge. Its soft, furry tail had stiffened into attack mode. The squirrel was so busy trying to scare something it didn’t even notice me. I could see determination splashed across its face and could see its little chest frantically breathing in and out.
From out of nowhere and without warning, a female red bird tried to dive bomb the squirrel, barely missing the window. Feathers were flying and squawks and frantic chirps interrupted the quiet morning.
From my vantage point, I couldn’t decide whether it was the squirrel or the red bird who started the riff. But the red bird must have sent out an SOS signal, because two male cardinals quickly appeared out of nowhere to also give the lone squirrel a piece of their minds.
Walking back to my chair, I remember thinking that the squirrel had better be careful. Although the squirrel was bigger in size, the birds definitely had the advantage because there were more of them and they could fly. A final squawk or two ended the fight and a truce was called — at least temporarily.
Bravery is a trait I admire in others; yet I have never felt as though I am brave. Maybe it’s because I tell myself I’m not brave and over time I have come to believe it. Our minds are amazing things that sometimes sabotage the strength that lies within us.
Apparently, no one ever told our 10-pound chihuahua that he shouldn’t be brave because he was until he took his last breath. No matter how huge another dog was that crossed his path, in Georgie’s mind, he was both bigger and stronger. He would charge full-force ahead frantically barking. On many occasions, the larger dog would take a few steps back in total shock. Although Georgie would have lost a battle with most of them, he always thought he was the winner.
We all have the power within us to do many things that we never even attempt because we aren’t brave enough and we think we can’t. Sometimes we don’t even try for fear of failing. It’s very sad, because it cheats us out of our true potential. To be the best versions of ourselves we must push our fears aside and charge ahead. Only then will we find out if we can accomplish something!
The older I become, the more brave I try to be. A lot of my insecurities are scars from being bullied as a child. I am finally making little strides into standing up for myself and not being silent when I’m mistreated. I may never totally master it, but at least I’m headed in the right direction! Sometimes being brave takes practice.
A few days after feathery and furry tussle, as I headed to an early morning gym class, I once again came upon the squabble between the lone squirrel and the red birds. This time I could clearly see that the squirrel was the bully, but the birds were brave, sending the squirrel a message. “Leave us alone!” they chirped in unison.
Leaving the scared squirrel sitting on the window ledge, the red birds let out one more loud chirp and then gracefully flew to a nearby branch. The red birds were confident and steadfast. They knew the squirrel could climb the tree but they also knew he could not take flight.
That morning the red birds taught me a lesson. There’s nothing wrong in standing up for yourself.