Chickens and the meaning of life
Finding our family owning and caring for 2 chickens (the gorgeous Penny and Jenny) continues to be somewhat of a surprise…even after 2 and a half years.
Luckily they stay outside, produce the freshest, tastiest eggs ever (even if they don’t quite look as perfect as supermarket eggs), and they make great conversation starters.
But aside from these “benefits”, we can also learn something important from everything we see and hear in the world, even from the humble chicken.
Here are some of my favourite lessons from “Chickenology 101”:
Chickens have single overriding purpose – where is the next worm coming from? It doesn’t matter what’s happening. It doesn’t matter if some random child, picks them up and turns you upside down.
They calmly right themselves and immediately set about finding the next worm.
If we could focus on our purpose, regardless of distractions, how much more on track would we be? What can we do to be more focussed?
Chickens keep on trying regardless of barriers in their way. Even with clipped wings they just keep on trying to fly. Then they remember they can jump and get where they wanted to be anyway.
If we would persist like this despite clipped wings, chicken wire and other barriers and setbacks, how much closer to our goals would we be? How can we be more persistent in reaching our goals?
Find a friend
Even when loose in the yard, chickens move around together. They groom each other pecking of bits of dirt from each other’s faces and backs.
And they compete over getting to the corn cob first, but share it anyway.
We can accomplish much more with a friend, and together we can conquer more pain and difficulties than we can alone. So what can we do today to strengthen a friendship?
Live in the present
Chickens don’t worry about the next time some child comes out to harass them with a soccer ball, they don’t worry about the next time a giant pigeon comes to steal their food.
Right now, things are good and there are plenty of worms.
How much of our lives are spent worrying about things that will never be? How can we be more mindful about living in the present and giving thanks for what we have right now?
When the back door opens chickens just know this time it is someone coming to give them food. The 500 + other reasons the back door could open don’t enter their minds. They come running, every time.
If we could think good and focus on the positive, we might find good things happen a lot more often, and feel happier in the process. How can we think good more often?
When it rains, chickens don’t worry. Rain is good. When it rains the worms come out.
How much more resilient would we be if we could remember that even in the midst of rain, or other hard times, there was good just around the corner? How can we worry a little less about the rain?
For a chicken, stillness and peace are always available. Every corner makes a comfortable dirt bath to just sit and contemplate the world from.
If we could find ways to make a corner of mindfulness and stillness in our busy lives we’d be so much more centred. How can we find a still, mindful space to retreat to when things get frantic?
Now it’s your turn: What else do you think we can learn from chickens or other pets?