Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Parable of the Eagle

by James Aggrey

Once a man found a young eagle in a forest and took it home and put it in his barnyard. The eagle ate the chicken feed and behaved just as chickens do. One day a naturalist friend noticed it and asked the owner why the eagle, king of all birds, confined with the chickens, "Since I have given chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it has never learned to fly" answered the man.

"Still", insisted the naturalist. "It has heart of an eagle and certainly it can be taught to fly".

The two agreed to find out whether it was possible. The naturalist took the eagle and said "You belong to the sky and not the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly". The eagle was confused and refused to make an attempt. The second day the naturalist took the eagle to the roof and urged the eagle again. But the eagle was afraid and jumped down for the chicken feed. On the third day the naturalist took it to the top ofa mountain. He held the eagle high above him and said. "You are an eagle. You belong to the sky as well as the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly".

The eagle slowly looked around, upto the sky and down to the barnyard. The naturalist lifted him further up, and the eagle started trembling, slowly he stretched his wings and with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

Friends, eagles are known for their strength and keennees of vision. According to Kentucky Fried Chicken dealers, chickens are known for their taste. Which one you would like to be? Eagle or chicken? Decide for yourselves.

But the happy fact is that we nurses are all born eagles. Then why are so many of us chickens? Most of us joined nursing to do a socially relevant job, but now job frustrations outweigh job satisfactions. Responsibilities are great, rewards are few. Assertiveness training is the need of today and in future. It can give us skill, courage and persistence to handle difficult tasks and stand hand in hand with our medical colleagues as equal partners in healthcare.

Perhaps like the eagle we are confused and tremble and that is not surprising. We can begin slowly and may take long to become a fullfledged eagle. Once we have flown, we can never go back to live like a chicken. It is not a delusion to think we can fly; it is a delusion to think we can't. Don't be afraid. Come up, the weather is fine. Stretch forth your wings and fly to a better future.

cTrained Nurses' Association of India Jan 2003

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