Doing Nothing is Doing Something

Jody Agard • Oct 11, 2021

My son and I were sitting in the living room when he heard the loud, persistent screeches coming from outside. After a little while we went out to investigate. 


When we opened the door, there was a small, fragile bird laying on the ground beneath the big oak tree in our front yard. The cries were coming from her mama look down at her baby. 


She must’ve fallen out of her nest and got hurt, we need to help her! I exclaimed. 


I called the Aviary vet and explained to the kind woman on the phone what happened. She instructed us to bring the baby in. So we grabbed the essentials and scooped the baby into a box with a towel. In a way, I felt awful for kidnapping the baby from the mother, but I couldn’t see just leaving her there to die either. 


I had to do something. 


We got her to the Aviary hospital and they took the baby with care. 


I don’t know what ever happened to that poor baby, I’m hoping she’s alive and thriving today. 


About a year later though, I was listening to one of my favorite Buddhist podcasts, Secular Buddhism. In the episode, Noah the host was told the story about a baby bird falling from a tree that appeared to be injured on the ground. He said all the neighborhood kids intervened like I had. They wrapped the bird up in a towel and attempted to nurse it back to health, trying to feed it. But the baby bird died. 


And then another one fell from the tree, and another. After the babies seemed to continue to die, the community decided to just observe. 


As they stepped back away from the bird and watched from their windows, they witnessed the mama bird flying down and inserting food into the babies mouth. She was nursing the baby back to health. It didn’t take long for the baby to regain enough strength to take plight. 


They realized that these birds weren’t dying from injuries, they died from starvation. 


Doing nothing is doing something. 


How many times have you intervened and it back fired?


How many times have you taken on the belief that sitting on the couch and "doing nothing" makes you feel horrible, lazy person.


What if you could see that sitting on the couch is actually you recharging your batteries.


Or that when step back and let your kids have an argument, you are teaching them to sort out conflicts.


Or instead of lashing out at a loved one, you sit on the bed and breathe before responding.


Why must we feel the need to "do something". 


Could we shift this doing mindset and simply see that we are enough - without all the "doing" - and see that often times, doing nothing is doing something. 




Xo

Jody

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