A certain traveler who knew many continents was asked what he found most remarkable of all. He replied: the ubiquity of sparrow. – Adam Zagajewski
I enjoy nature, and I love animals. One of the things that I love to do is take walks in the park as the sun is setting, something that I consider to be a perfect end to my day. Mostly, I have discovered that we can learn many things as we observe nature and animals. For example, I believe that we can learn many things from a sparrow.
Are you wondering: a sparrow? That tiny, brownish bird that we see (almost) everywhere? Yup, that’s the one. Are you now wondering: What can the little creature possibly teach us?
Several things, as a matter of fact. So, after having observed this interesting bird for a couple of years now, these are valuable life lessons that I have learned from a little sparrow.
Love for their Home
In 1889, a scientist reported cases of sparrows attacking 70 different bird species to defend their nest holes. Isn’t that an incredible display of courage? I tend to imagine a picture of soldiers defending their territory, even if it cost them their lives. In fact, these sparrows not only had to fight one other bird species but a staggering 70! How incredible is their drive and determination to protect their home!
These little birds got me thinking about us Malaysians. Having just celebrated our National Day and Malaysia Day, it is a good time to think about our country. Can these little birds teach us about patriotism, courage, and the need to defend our ‘nest hole’, especially since our country has been facing multiple challenges since the onset of the pandemic?
Sharing Parental Responsibility
Secondly, another interesting thing I’ve learned about these birds is the fact that both male and female sparrows incubate their eggs. Incubation is the process where a bird keeps the eggs warm by sitting on the egg until it hatches. After 11-14 days, the eggs will hatch and after that, both parents will share nesting duties equally.
Isn’t it a good model of parenting, where both the father and mother take turns to care for their young? Personally, I believe that it is a key foundation to build a happy home and family. It also sets a good example for the young on the role of males and females within the family structure.
In his article titled, ‘The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation’, Professor Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University reports that according to research, children who grow up in households with two continuously married parents are less likely than other children to experience a wide range of problems of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood but also in adulthood. Seems like these little sparrows have gotten the formula right by sharing parental responsibility, and perhaps this is also something we can learn from them.
Willingness to Adapt
Another wonderful thing that I have discovered about sparrows is that they have changed their eating habits when they learned to live close to people. In fact, one of the reasons that sparrow adapted to living in human settlements is the constant supply of food.
I think that these sparrows displayed great wisdom in understanding the fact that they need to change for survival. Likewise, as humans, we must be willing to adapt and change when it is called for. It may not always be easy, but it will be worth the pain.
Honestly, one of the main reasons I love watching sparrows so much is because they always seem so joyful! Have you ever seen sparrows bathe in a puddle of water or take a ‘dust bath’? That’s when they dig a hole in the ground, push their bellies in the ground, and look as though they are having a bath in the dust. It seems like they’re having the time of their lives!
When I look at these sparrows who do not know where their next meal is coming from or if a predator would attack them at any minute, I find it amazing that they are still constantly joyful. And that, for me, is the best lesson of all: to always look on the bright side of life and be joyful. After all, there are many benefits to having more joy!
Learning, a Lifelong Process
Tom Clancy said, ‘Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.’ If we want to progress in our personal development, we must be willing to keep learning. After all, learning is a lifelong process. Therefore, why shouldn’t we learn from the other creatures who share this planet with us?
Hannah Becca is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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