I am the proud owner of a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo and this morning, just before handing him the empty tea box I realized that he has taught me several important life facts by just being himself.
1. When attacked and bitten in the face, don’t stop taking him out of his cage. The fear affects both of you, put the event in the past and take him out without niggling doubts and worries. Life is the same, when we have bad experiences, don’t write the whole experience off because you are afraid of having another – you will miss the best this way.
2. The most normal things can be exciting. Crumpled up newspapers or empty boxes strung on rope – it becomes more than something to throw away, it becomes a new game. Life lesson I took from that – don’t dismiss something because it is boring or rejected, who knows what it could actually be.
3. Stop and enjoy your food. When handed a baby tomato or piece of wrap or another yummy treat, my Cockatoo stops whatever he is doing and concentrates everything on his little snack. I feel the life lesson to this is to focus more on what we are doing at any specific moment than trying to do more things with maybe less efficiency and concentration.
4. Whenever there is music, he leaves what he is busy with and will bob along with the beat, eyes sparkling, gurgling a song only he knows the lyrics to. Life lesson to take from this – there is always time to dance. Empty your mind of the humdrum routine and let yourself be carried by the music.
5. Always welcome someone who arrives, even if he just went out the door two seconds before and never forget to say goodnight (sometimes 50 times) as someone puts off the light. What I learned from this is that it is important to let other people know you appreciate them. It is always lovely for me to be welcomed with a ‘hello baby’ and fare-welled with a ‘night night’.
There are so many more, but this will have to do for now.