Doing the Best You Can With What You Have


The Teaching of the Quetzal Bird

The following story was considered so valuable by the Aztec people of Mexico that it was passed down through many generations. It was recently included in a book by Margaret Wheatly titled Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. I have reworded and shortened it a bit.

A long time ago there was a great fire in the forests that covered our Earth. People and animals started to run to escape the fire. Brother Owl was running away also when he noticed a small bird hurrying back and forth between the nearest river and the fire. He discovered it was his brother the Quetzal bird who was running to the river, picking up small drops of water in his beak, then returning to the fire to throw that tiny bit of water on the flame. Owl yelled at him: What are you doing brother? Are you stupid? You are not going to achieve anything by doing this. What are you trying to do? You must run for your life!

Quetzal bird stopped for a moment and looked at the owl, and then answered: I am doing the best I can with what I have.

Soon, taking the Quetzal bird as an example, other animals and people started to do the same. And that was how a long time ago the forests of the Earth were saved.

What a beautiful story! And what great teaching! I just had to share it.

                                                Take care,

Brent Evans