Are you a parrot hiding in a flock of crows?

Every winter what seems like millions of crows take up residence in my city. During the day they spread out in various fields and neighborhoods. But in the evening? At dusk, they flock together and fly en masse to their roosts (treetops they have chosen) in downtown. The sky appears almost black, and the chaos, noise, and intimidation this brings can be startling to the unaware, even though we quickly take the crows for granted. Their coming together in formation is magnificent, and at the same time intimidating. The beauty and power is not with the individual crow. In fact, it’s all but impossible for one crow to stand out and be distinguished from the rest. (The above picture is only a small portion of them gathering in their pre-flight lounge.

Then last week something wonderful happened. Somehow a parrot magically appeared on the scene, and decided to join the crows on their adventure. There were parrot sightings all around the city. All of a sudden, people began to pay attention. Not to the crows, as they blended into the background, following one another on their predetermined flight path. People were paying attention to the bird who dared to be unique, different – and colorful. Thing is, if you’re a parrot, no matter how hard you try, you can’t be a crow. A parrot can fly alongside and learn from the crows, but can’t become one.

Which made me think of how similar these birds are to entrepreneurs, to creatives.

You can be a crow, flying along with what someone touts as the secret formula for success. You must fly this way or you will be doomed – or so they say. Follow me exactly and do what I do, they say. So, the crows sign up for the next course, the next big thing that made someone else successful. All too often, this doesn’t work. All too often, this is just a way to hide out and get lost in the flock – making a lot of noise, chaos and mess. Just imagine all the bird poop – which is annoying at best.

Or, you can be a parrot. Spread your wings and embrace all your authenticity and beauty. Share that with others. Don’t be afraid to stand out in the flock, the crowd. As you stand out, people can get to know who you are, what you’re up to, and why it would be wonderful to know you better. Celebrate your uniqueness.

If you’re a parrot, you can try to conform, blend in and follow the crows to wherever they are roosting. But why would you want to?

TIDBITs ~ Some questions, thoughts, and more for you to use as writing prompts, conversation starters, creativity boosters or however else you’d like.

Imagine you are a parrot. What makes you unique?
How can you accept and embrace your parrot-ness?
What can a parrot learn from the crows?
When does it benefit you to follow someone’s else flight path – and what does it take to fly off on your own?
Where would you fly if you could fly anywhere?