The Lowly Sparrow, Such a Common Bird

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8 attributes we can learn from the sparrow

You’re all familiar with sparrows. Many of us don’t pay much attention to them. Some may even consider them to be pests. They’re not colorful like other birds. They have drab brown feathers with variation in their individual markings. They are common and widespread in every state. A brilliant male cardinal stands out when it appears in your yard. You notice its spectacular plumage at once. The effect is like the feeling you get when you notice a famous person in your vicinity. 

1. The sparrow is a symbol of hard work and cooperation.

Most of us don’t particularly stand out in our communities. We tend to blend in with fellow coworkers and our neighborhoods. We accept that we must go to work. We raise families, live an active life, and look forward to retirement. These are the things we strive to achieve.

Sparrows don’t waste time. They’re always productive. You won’t find procrastinators among them. This describes most contributing citizens in America. All accomplishments in this world result from the steadfastness of the common man. Many don’t crave adulation and publicity embarrasses them.

2.  Sparrows show devotion to their young.

I’ve seen adult sparrows continuing to offer insects and seeds to grown children, who are the same size. I admit, I used to judge them for this behavior. I felt they should let their juveniles go and make their own way in the world. 

But then I reflect, “There are lots of kids who are taller than their parents. The juvenile sparrows may still be quite young. They don’t fit in a nest anymore but they need more training in survival. I’ve decided that the parents know best after all. Things aren’t always what they seem.

Imagine my chagrin when I learned this is normal behavior for the sparrow. They continue to feed the hatchlings for two weeks after they are able to fly. When will I learn to stop making snap judgements?

3. Sparrows project joy and protection, simplicity and community.

You can hear them singing as soon as the sun rises. They find protection in a group with other sparrows. There is safety in numbers. Even humans crave company. You’re not alone if you live within a society. Most of us wouldn’t thrive living in isolation.

4. The sparrow is a symbol of self-worth.

All humans matter and are worthy to be here. Unfortunately, many don’t believe this. We seek praise and love from others to justify our existence. We become stuck in past childhood issues that hold us captive. Learn from the sparrow. Love yourself more. Don’t put your needs last if you are a parent. We are all precious to our creator. 

5. The sparrow doesn’t hide.

The sparrow fights for its place at a feeder. It is no shrinking violet. Love yourself or you’ll never be happy. Acknowledge the fact that you are a unique individual. Don’t underestimate your reason for being on this planet. Be proud of yourself. Hold your head high.

6. The sparrow is quite content. 

Sparrows build a modest nest. They are satisfied with their plumage. They don’t display a need to stand out in a crowd. They are confident in their place in life. 

Our society feels that the accumulation of things will bring joy and satisfaction. But happiness comes from inside us, not outside in the type of car or house we own.

7. The sparrow is a symbol of creativity,

Sparrows are adaptable birds. They’re attracted to feeders that provide millet and sunflower seeds. They adjust to civilization even though their usual diet is small insects and seeds. In this respect they’ve chosen the easy route to depend on us for some of its food.

Most of us have this desire to be creative in something. Expression helps us feel good. When problems arise, the sparrow reminds us that we have the ability to solve them. 

Oh, how many of us want life to be easy and carefree like the sparrow. We forget that overcoming struggles gives us character.

8.  Small things keep the sparrow happy.

The sparrow doesn’t squawk or complain like the raucous crow. Follow its example and be grateful for the blessings you have. Accept all situations that come your way as opportunities for growth. Make time for relaxation for none of us knows if this will be our final moment on earth.

There are 31 recognized species in the sparrow family. This reminds me of the different ethnic origins of citizens in our fifty states. We represent many races, ages, colors, and languages. Yet, we’re all Americans. 

After a two year sojourn in New Zealand, I embarked on a journey of discovery. Many American visitors expressed concern over the state of our country. This was during the early stage of drive-by shootings and litter along the highways.

I had a high school dream of biking across America. What a perfect way to sense the pulse of my fellow man for myself. Four of us cycled the Bikecentennial Route across our country. One was a New Zealand friend.

We camped along the way, riding beside clear streams on backroads. We cycled up many mountain passes where motorists honked encouragement. We saw wildlife every day. We never felt threatened for our safety. Kansas proved to be the friendliest state. Loose farm dogs would challenge us. Finally I yelled, “Sit! Sit!” The crazy animals obeyed and sat long enough for us to spin our wheels faster out of reach. 

Passersby would come up to us and ask questions.

       “Why are you doing this?”

       “Wish I could join you, but my spouse wouldn’t go for it.”

       “If you ride through our town, we’d be glad to put you up for the night.”

By the time we dipped our wheels in the Atlantic Ocean, I felt good about our country. I learned that most people are pleasant and friendly and want to help if there is a need. I learned to disregard the negativity of the media.   

We tend to forget the generosity and good will of the common man. They go about their business and don’t make a loud noise. When you see a sparrow in the future, remember that they are a reflection of most people in America. 

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