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Listening to the Birds
10/23/2013 1:02:19 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

I was walking down a street in Charleston last week after leaving my weekly prayer service, and I was astounded by the sounds coming from a tree where my vehicle was parked.

It was the sounds of some birds nesting on a limb chirping away in the coolness of a beautiful Friday afternoon. For some unknown reason, I decided to stop and listen to those winged creatures as they appeared to be talking to each other.

The rhythmic-sounding banter of the birds in the trees “rapping” with each other gave me a rare and wonderful opportunity to observe some of God Alone’s creations doing their natural communicational thing. It was awe inspiring.

I’ve always believed that nature is a love song to the mind of a sensitive soul who loves the Creator Alone. Everything in nature has a purpose, and those birds’ vocal and harmonic display were exhibiting that plus a little bit more.

All of nature is so marvelous to be a part of and to carefully observe. That’s the way the Most High Alone planned and shaped it for us to witness and, hopefully, respect.

That’s what I was doing when I was “checking” out the birds doing their thing. They seemed to be exemplifying that they were respecting each other in a somewhat cohesive manner of displaying what natural unity and reverence was all about.

I felt serenely privileged to be a witness to this experience because I was at peace within my soul at that moment. All of this was occurring as the birds began jumping from branch-to-branch, completely unaware of my frozen posture and inquisitive eyes gazing upon them.

The birds on that tree, moving freely about, seemed to portray an aura of deference through their communicational chirping that ushered forth a semblance of unity. Strangely, I wondered how they really felt about each other in their dazzling choreographed flights of orchestrated fancy.

While in those moments of hushed observation, I also found myself wondering what the birds were saying to each other as they frantically scurried back and forth. The mystery of their unfathomed language to me was something that made me think of how, even as “hue-mans,” we, who are also a part of God Alone’s natural creation, need to communicate in more effective ways as we move from moment-to-moment in our own diurnal tree climbing episodes of existences.

Maybe, in some odd way, witnessing the playful birds doing their thing was indicating something spiritually profound to me. I know that infinitesimal messages were popping up inside my head about the aura of how diplomatic these animals were in the context of a solitary, natural moment in time and space.

Please don’t take what I’m saying as a way-off rap about a trite experience, but rather I’d like that you interpret it as a unique and momentous sign for and to the mind of any naturally diligent seeker of truth. It was one which should and could be viewed as a precursor from God Alone to learn about another invaluable lesson from life’s natural occurrences.

Life is quite a teacher in more ways than one, and a serious student of the universe can learn from anyone and anything at any time. Life’s the master professor where experiences shape who we are for better or worse.

All animals are blessed in many ways which we can’t decipher but can only assume certain things about. Those ways are unquestioned, but I also know for certain they (all) are an amazing family of creatures created by God Alone.

So are we in the created family of “hue-mankind.” Our natures are blessed in more ways than we can count, and we should be able to communicate effectively with each other just as the listening birds in that tree did last Friday.

I think that’s a key right there. Those birds appeared to be listening to each other and, in many ways, some of us in “hue-manity,” don’t do that. It’s only a candid observation.

I know I’m guilty of that slight, and I know I need to practice that art form a lot more if I want to be considered a bona fide skillful bird in “hue-manity.” Can you honestly say that you’re a good listener, or am I flying by the wrong tree by asking you that question?

While you pause to answer, please consider the undeniable fact that, without a doubt, listening deficiency is behind so much unhappiness in many of the relationships that go and have gone sour. Thinking about that makes me realize why “misery loves company.”

Hmmm! That’s what “Listening to the Birds” is triggering in me as I write because I believe that broken relationships and misunderstood “colored” folk could all be helped by practicing better communication skills like the birds employ and have obviously mastered over time. Understanding this and taking the time to practice same can only help and serve you and the other “birds” in your present and future worlds of existences for the better.

The language of real life birds maybe foreign to me or you as they communicate, but that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the essence in which they do communicate, and that is that they (respectfully) speak to each and they (respectfully) listened in turn to each.

That’s what I saw last week as I carefully observed what they appeared to be doing. Again, maybe, we could stop, on a broader scale, the inner killings and outer slaughter of our and the worlds youth by listening to what the other soul(s) is and are saying.

I don’t think that it would hurt, because it sure doesn’t cost too much to listen to a soul who’s troubled or needs to be heard. Like I said, it does require a little work, but isn’t reaching a state of clarifying solitude worth it for the betterment of a cluttered mind-set.
Listening doesn’t, in my view, mean that one has to agree with the other soul because in life there’s always going to be differences of opinions. That’s life, and even the frolicking birds surely attest to that in their own ways. We’re no different.

So, let’s give “Listening to Others” a more than temporary status in our mutual flights of daily indulgences and communication activities. We may learn from the experience.

Try it, and you may end up liking it. The real birds do because they listen to each other. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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