Why do so many of us accidentally kill the things we love most?
One day, there was a little boy who stumbled upon a nest that had tumbled down from a nearby tree. As he crouched by the small mound of knotted grass and dried mud, he was stunned to see a small baby bird squirm its way out of the mess.
He excitedly picked up the chirping bird and clutched it tightly in his toddler hands. As he sprinted back home to show his parents his new pet, he unknowingly crushed its fragile body in his tightly clenched fist. By the time his parents were able to pry the poor creature out of his hands, the little bird was already dead.
After throwing a temper tantrum at his parents for not being allowed to keep it, the little boy stormed back out into the neighborhood park. As he retraced his way back to the fallen nest, he was delighted to discover that one more baby bird had wiggled its way out of the mangled nest.
This time, he made sure he was extra gentle when picking it up. He held its fragile body with a wide-open palm to ensure it won’t get crushed. But the little bird kept toppling out of his hands and landing on the hard cement sidewalk. By the time the child presented the bird to his parents, it also had died from all of its countless tumbles to the ground.
When the toddler went back to the nest a third and final time, he rummaged through the tangled mess of grass and twigs. He was delighted to find one last baby bird. This time he had learned to cupped it firmly in both of his hands. His grip was not too tight that the bird would be crushed. Nor was it too loose that the bird would tumble out. By the time the delicate creature was safely brought home, the parents finally relented and allowed him to keep it.
Like this boy, many of us sometimes hold onto certain goals, relationships, or even ideals far too tightly. As a result, we unknowingly choke the life out of it. On the other hand, some may overcompensate and hold these same things with too loose of a grip so that these aspirations tumble out of our lives and gets lost due to neglect. In the end, the most secure and nurturing way of holding onto these precious things is with a firm and gentle grasp; as if we were handling a small delicate baby bird.