RJ Dupre column: Don't think I can? Watch me
It is sunny, the wind is blowing, and it is chilly. I am sitting by the window at a friend's house, looking at her garden. There are beautiful gazing balls, chimes, and on top of an iron stand a bird feeder full of seeds swings gently in the breeze. A group of birds are flying about and peck at the delicious treat.
Then, three very plump squirrels enter the scene. They catch the leftovers, which fall onto the lawn. One of them looks up and takes a leap up the pole. Missing the mark, he slides down to the ground. His companion also decides to try, but fails. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they resign themselves and continue to gather the falling seeds.
The third one is determined to get to "the goodies" stored in the feeder. After two tries he lands on the tiny roof. He anchors his hind feet into the wooden cover, dangles upside down and eats frantically.
As I am watching the scene unfold, I remember what a good friend of mine used to say, "When I watch animals' behavior, it helps me better understand humans."
How true. In many cases, you have those who are content in collecting the leftovers of other people's dreams and goals, while others will not quit until they reach their own. They have determination and are creative in the ways they deal with challenges. Those individuals do not take no for an answer, even if the way they go about getting what they want seems a little bizarre to the rest of the world.
Then you have those who sit on the sidelines and watch life go by without stepping up to the plate. They do not believe in trying and persevering. They shy away from the difficulties and live in a very narrow, limited world.
I guess it is a question of personal perception, for both humans and squirrels. Nature and life give us gifts and opportunities, and it is up to us to decide what we are willing to invest to own them.