The Sicilian Hummingbird Parable

Why we should all be hummingbirds in 2020

We’ve all been made “aware” these past few months of the detrimental effects of a quickly spreading, asymptomatic and highly contagious virus that has penetrated life as we “knew” it . That life is gone. One infected person, one virus caused all this chaos. Our virtual scoreboard, or the local news channel, provides the latest numbers — — Corona Virus 300,000 , humans 0.

Preventative measures are being mandated and enforced. Stay home. Practice Social Distancing. Only go out for necessities such as medicine or food . Wear masks and gloves to protect yourself and others. Wash your hands ( for those of you that didn’t learn that in kindergarten). Keep all surfaces clean ( for those of you that didn’t grow up with a clean freak Sicilian mother).

I returned to my car early this afternoon after my weekly “excursion” to pick up my prescription.

I wanted to put the bag in the front seat of the car and there were USED gloves haphazardly thrown on the ground in MY parking space, near MY car . What the hell?

Who are you , you disgusting, irresponsible and rude person? Why has no one hit you on the head with a 2x4 yet ? Why would you throw contagion on the ground in a public parking lot, where all the cars are in close proximity and people congregate to shop for necessities? Why would you deliberately endanger others instead of tossing the gloves in any one of the strategically placed trash receptacles nearby? Are you that lazy? Are you in a “rush”? No time for the thirty second detour to dispose of your trash? Are you worried your spot on the sofa will be stolen by the cat?

By now, everyone is commiserating and saying, “ there’s always one idiot….”

Yes, there’s always one. It takes one bullet to kill someone. It takes one hole to sink a ship.

There’s power in one. Remember, one person, one virus created all this chaos.

Once upon a time, a bolt of lightning hit a tree in the forest. The tree caught on fire and soon engulphed the adjacent tree and nearby bush. Soon afterwards a fire was raging in the forest. All the animals ran towards the river to escape the blaze. The bears, deer, wolves and bobcats that were the strongest and the fastest lead the exodus, followed by the boars, foxes, and raccoons. Trailing behind were the rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks who were small and couldn’t run as fast but were doing their best to escape and survive.

The lead bear, who charged in front of all the other animals, suddenly stopped and watched as a small hummingbird flew in the opposite direction, towards the fire instead of away from it .

“Stop” , bellowed the bear , “ you’re going the wrong way , you’re flying towards the fire , not away from it , turn around and follow us” .

The hummingbird replied , “ I know , I’ve been to the river and scooped up some water in my beak and am going to douse the fire with the water “

The bear stood incredulous , and then yelled “ you’re JUST a hummingbird and are tiny as can be . The water from your beak isn’t enough to douse the fire “ .

The hummingbird replied, “ Maybe not , but I’m doing MY part” .

We are all hummingbirds, small individuals in a huge world, fighting something bigger than ourselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all did OUR part ?

Words…. my best friends…my worst enemies. The right words are kind . The wrong words hurt, except Italian words, words in Italian always sound good.

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