An American Indian legend tells about a brave who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the changeling eagle – thinking he was a prairie chicken – did what the prairie chickens did.
He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and cackled. And, he flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that was the way prairie chickens were supposed to fly.
Years passed. The changeling eagle grew very old. One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. “What a beautiful bird!” said the changeling eagle to his neighbor. “What is it?”
“That’s an eagle, the chief of the birds,” his neighbor clucked. “But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him.” So the changeling eagle never gave it another thought. And, it died thinking it was a prairie chicken.
It’s all too easy to go through life
Believing we’re prairie chickens
when we’re really eagles.
Doing so shortchanges us and everyone else.
Be what you are!
Recognize your strengths,
your abilities, and your potential.
Don’t stay on the ground
when you have it in you to soar!