I’m a big fan of finding a lesson in any situation. It’s a problem. That being said, please humor me while I share some lessons learned.
Several summers ago I was attacked by a bird…twice…in the same week…while riding a bike.
What was the lesson learned? Well, there were actually a few.
Following the first attack, I learned that bird attacks are not my favorite thing, but also not as bad as I’d feared. (That second part may be due to the fact that I was wearing a bike helmet that bore the brunt of the attack.)
Later that week, when I found myself on that same stretch of bike path, being attacked by the same bird (most likely), I learned those same lessons again.
Months later, I was wandering amongst skyscrapers with a bird expert. I was interviewing them while they searched for stunned, migratory birds who had collided with the reflective, giant panes of glass.
During the course of our conversation, I learned that the bird I’d been attacked by was most likely a Red-winged Blackbird. They’re known for being territorial and extremely aggressive during nesting season.
At this point, the feathered flurry of fury morphed into another lesson. That lesson being, it wasn’t about me. This bird had labeled me as a threat, not because I was one, but because it saw me as one.
Had I ridden that same stretch of path again while announcing that I was not a threat, it still would have attacked. Plus, I’d look like an idiot who was trying to reason with a bird.
Perhaps it’s an obvious lesson when dealing with a territorial bird. Still, as is the case with many things in life, sometimes you need to learn the same lesson a few times before it sticks. Even if it does seem obvious.
The good news is, it isn’t about you. That doesn’t make the hurt less, but it does offer a lesson. Sometimes, it’s best to steer clear and try a different path.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.