Chickens and Eagles
This is a sweet message from Harrison Klein and the “I Am” group. Also reminds me that our past does not determine our future.
We were thinking the other day about success and how it applies to us as individuals.
We’re all pretty much the same, aren’t we?
Dissect a Donald Trump or an Einstein, and you’ll find nothing remarkable to distinguish them from any other human being on this wonderful planet.
And then we remembered this tale, which kind of explains it all:
A long time ago in a remote valley, there
lived a farmer. One day he got tired of the
daily routine of running the farm and
decided to climb the cliffs that brooded
above the valley to see what lay beyond.
He climbed all day until he reached a ledge
just below the top of the cliff; there, to
his amazement was a nest, full of eggs.
Immediately he knew they were eagle’s eggs
and, even though he knew it was profoundly
un-ecological and almost certainly illegal,
he carefully took one and stowed it in his
pack; then seeing the sun was low in the
sky, he realized it was too late in the day
to make the top and slowly began to make his
way down the cliff to his farm.
When he got home he put the egg in with the
few chickens he kept in the yard. The mother
hen was the proudest chicken you ever saw,
sitting atop this magnificent egg; and the
cockerel couldn’t have been prouder.
Sure enough, some weeks later, from the egg
emerged a fine, healthy eaglet. And as is in
the gentle nature of chickens, they didn’t
balk at the stranger in their midst and
raised the majestic bird as one of their
So it was that the eagle grew up with its
brother and sister chicks. It learned to do
all the things chickens do: it clucked and
cackled, scratching in the dirt for grits
and worms, flapping its wings furiously,
flying just a few feet in the air before
crashing down to earth in a pile of dust and
It believed resolutely and absolutely it was
One day, late in its life, the eagle-who-
thought-he-was-a-chicken happened to
look up at the sky. High overhead, soaring
majestically and effortlessly on the thermals
with scarcely a single beat of its powerful
golden wings, was an eagle!
“What’s that?!”, cried the old eagle in awe.
“It’s magnificent! So much power and grace!
“That’s an eagle”, replied a nearby chicken,
“That’s the King of the Birds. It’s a bird
of the air… not for the likes of us. We’re
only chickens, we’re birds of the earth”.
With that, they all cast their eyes downwards
once more and continued digging in the dirt.
And so it was that the eagle lived and died
a chicken… because that’s all it believed
itself to be.
See, we’re not really born chickens or eagles, predestined to fail or succeed. We are all about as successful as we DECIDE to be, aren’t we? We become what we think about.