I got a shock in a PetSmart store. There was a glass cage — it seemed as large as a full-sized bed — on the floor. And it had no cover.
Inside the cage was a half-dozen brightly colored parakeets. They walked, hopped and jumped, with just enough pseudo-flapping to go from one caged branch to another. They did not fly, even though there was more than enough room for them to do so. I stood there, amazed by the irony of a “cage” that was completely open on top.
An employee saw me staring and asked, “Are you interested in one of those lil’ guys?”
“No, thanks. I’m just here for cat food,” I answered. “But I don’t get it… what stops those birds from trying to fly out?”
“Oh, they were born caged,” he said, “so now they’re just conditioned not to fly. It would never occur to them to try and escape.”
Seeing those parakeets both bothered and helped me. Seeing them made me really think about my beliefs and goals. How many limitations are real, or just imagined? Have I limited my well-being, relationships, or career with a cage that actually has no top?
Can you imagine… pitifully hopping around on the ground, when you could have been in flight all along?
Copyright © Erika Harris