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     I’m not sure why


     . . . I choose right now to share this, perhaps just a whim, but I ran across some old lesson notes from my professor days and the following paraphrase that students used to love.  It’s of James Aggrey’s “The Parable of the Eagle” as represented in the classic 1971 Addison-Wesley Gestalt book on transactional analysis: Born To Win by Murial James and Dorothy Jongeward.  I thought you might enjoy it, and may want to share it with someone special:

Once upon a time, while walking through the forest, a certain man found a young eagle.  He took it home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat chicken feed and to behave as chickens behave.

One day, a naturalist who was passing by inquired of the owner why it was that an eagle, the king of all birds, should be confined to live in the barnyard with the chickens.

“Since I have given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it has never learned to fly,” replied the owner.  “It behaves as chickens behave, so it is no longer an eagle.”

“Still,” insisted the naturalist. “it has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught to fly.”

After talking it over, the two men agreed to find out whether this was possible.  Gently, the naturalist took the eagle in his arms and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth.  Stretch forth your wings and fly.”  The eagle, however, was confused; he did not know who he was, and, seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again.

Undismayed, the naturalist took the eagle on the following day up on the roof of the house, and urged him again, saying, “You are an eagle.  Stretch forth your wings and fly.”  But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and world and jumped down once more for the chicken food.

On the third day, the naturalist rose early anfd took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain.  There, he held the king of birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, “You are an eagle.  You belong to the sky as well as to the earth.  Stretch forth your wings now and fly.”

The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and up to the sky.  Still he did not fly.  Then the naturalist lifted him straight towards the sun and it happened that the eagle began to tremble, slowly he stretched his wings.  At last, with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens with nostalgia; it may even be that he even occasionally revisits the barnyard.  But as far as anyone knows, he has never returned to lead the life of a chicken.  He was an eagle thought he had been kept and tamed as a chicken.

     Just like the eagle, say James and Jongeward, a person who has learned to think of herself or himself as something she or he isn’t, can re-decide in favor of her or his real potential . . . and become a winner! 

     You may need a helper, and just the thought of leaving the barnyard may make you tremble, but taking flight? — It’s a choice!  

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