Then why do you still try to feed them?
Several years ago, I worked in the vicinity of Federal Center SW in DC. For my online friends who have known me the longest, that’s where I was when I met you. That was around 2003/2004 or thereabouts. I’m thinking about those memorable Yahoo 360o days and the days from the WBS/AAG chat room on the Go network. Sometimes during lunch, I’d wander up the street to the Southwest Waterfront Mall, near where Arena Stage is currently situated to sit, think, and feed the birds as I ate. Is that mall still there? I know it has gone through many changes over the years. Anybody ever go dancing at Jenny’s on Friday nights?
Well anyway, when I’d feed those birds, there was one bird in particular that seemed to have a special affinity for me; he seemed much more fond of me than the others. He was the only one who ate the pumpernickel bread crumbs I threw at him. At that time, I ate a lot of pumpernickel. Pumpernickel makes great sandwiches.
None of the other birds would touch my pumpernickel bread. You might ask how I am sure it was the same bird every time. I know because of the distinguishing marks on its feathers and from the way its head leaned toward the left. I’m thinking he must have gotten hurt at some point. When I would tell my mom this bird story, she jokingly said the bird was probably just flirting with me. (lol) Whatever the reason, he definitely stood out from the others. This went on for about two years. He would sometimes even eat the crumbs from my hand. It was an experience I looked forward to and it gave me great pleasure.
One day, he stopped eating my pumpernickel. So I called myself being smart and brought different types of bread to feed him, but still nothing. He wouldn’t come over, even though the other birds sometimes would after I brought bread other than the pumpernickel. My bird pal no longer ate from my hand. He even stopped eating the bread I threw on the ground near him. I’d still see him around, but he didn’t come near me. Initially I felt sad, very sad, and took it personally. I eventually stopped trying to feed him.
I’ve noticed a strong parallel between that bird and people that may come into our lives. It’s funny how we still keep trying to feed the people who used to eat from the palm of our hands but have since gone on about their business. For some of us, it takes a brick wall to come tumbling down on our heads just like happened in that famous battle in Jericho approximately 3400 years ago. We still sometimes need a rude awakening before we get the message; well, at least I know that I do.
So, I’m here to tell you not to be like me, always letting the walls tumble down upon your head before you get a grip and make a change. Stop ignoring the telltale signs and do what must be done. If there are people who used to eat out of the palm of your hand but no longer do, why do you still keep trying to feed them? I’m thinking about that Christina Aguilera song titled, Change, particularly the part that goes,
“Waiting for a change to set us free, waiting for the day when you can be you and I can be me, waiting for hope to come around, waiting for the day when hate is lost and love is found. Waiting for a change. Waiting for a change.”
If that’s what you’re waiting for, then you may be waiting forever. Sometimes you have to take action before there’s any change. If they’re no longer eating, stop feeding them.