I went for a walk this morning at the Salato Center, a nature preserve sorta place here in Frankfort. There are tons of birds and water foul that reside or hang out at the fishing lakes in the center. Included in that group or scads and scads of Canada Geese. These guys are some of the most aggressive, obnoxious, gross creatures on the planet, but I noticed something about them that I hadn't before. A pair were flying into the area from parts unknown, and they made sure to make themselves known a good quarter mile out from their landing area. They honked and quacked until they hit the water, and even then, they hit the water, honking. But here's the thing, every Canada goose already wandering around the area honked back. It was a cacophony of honking and quacking and it hit me. They were welcoming the new pair to the area ... or welcoming them back ... or conversing about the weather ... but they were conversing ... they were positively communicating.
I think we humans have a lot to learn from the animal populations.
Recently, I have dreaded dealing with certain people and their negative attitudes. I have dreaded having to share the same air space ... I have dreaded having to immerse myself in their head space ... have their attitudes influence mine. Okay, perhaps it isn't so much dreading it as I am just not interested in doing so any more. However, as I tell my fourth graders all the time, we don't have to be best friends with everyone, but we do have to be respectful, even when those we're dealing with don't want to be respectful of us.
I was struck by these geese, all seemingly happily cohabitating in the same pond, so to speak, and doing nothing but greeting each other happily. It reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a friend. We were talking about the people we surround ourselves with, and the fact that true friends are there to be our positive influences ... our cheerleaders ... greeting us as we land in the pond. Those that won't or can't find it within themselves to do so, well, they are aren't friends. Treat them with respect, but that's as far as it goes.
So I am flocking ... gathering those that are my positive influences, and releasing my grip on those that are not healthy for me ...