Monday, May 17, 2010

What can we learn from the hawk?

photo by Pam Tremble (see the rest of this photo shoot here)

This morning on my drive to work I saw a hawk sitting atop a road sign - majestic and stalwart - surveying the land for breakfast, no doubt.  He was just minding his own business, not bothering anyone. When suddenly two small birds swooped up behind him and began to attack. The smaller birds kept pecking at the larger bird relentlessly, swooping down - peck, peck, peck - flying off and circling back around - peck, peck, peck.  Those two small birds were incessant in their attack.  But the large hawk continued to sit majestically on his morning perch, ignoring the pecking, not letting it bother him at all.  The hawk just stood strong in the face of adversity and was proud of who he was, despite the hatred and harassment shown by the two small birds.

What can we learn from the hawk?

As morbidly obese people we are often sneered at or teased or looked down upon by those who have never struggled with their weight. And later as we become the person who had "the surgery" we are faced with the uneducated remarks that we took the easy way out. And then when we lose massive amounts of weight, we're left with saggy skin that is unsightly and may invite comments or judgement from those who don't understand our situation.

When we are attacked, instead of cowering under the mean comments or succumbing to the emotional, physical or psychological attacks -- we can take the lead of the hawk and stand strong and be proud of who we are in the face of adversity. The hawk does not let the small attacking birds determine his self worth, his mood or his majestic self assurance - the hawk is secure in knowing who he is.  So too should we.

PS - for information about why birds do this, here's an interesting (and funny) article. In the bird watching community, this behavior is called "mobbing."


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