As I walked into my office one day, I saw a small green bird lying in the parking lot. The creature was on its side, and at first glance, appeared lifeless. I stopped to look at the bird — thinking I should move it so it wouldn’t get run over by a passing vehicle. I noticed a slight movement (which I thought was just from a breeze moving the feathers) but it was, in fact, alive. Birds occasionally hit our office building, but they typically shake it off and fly away. This little guy was not so fortunate.
Volunteers to the rescue
I gently put the bird in a cardboard box, and at the suggestion of my co-worker Debby, took the unconscious fellow to the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary which is only about 6 miles away from our office.
After a brief period, I was informed that it was moving reasonably well. Next came a brief exam and a “test” flight. Within 20 minutes of my arrival I (we) were on our way back to the scene of the accident. Apparently, it was better to release the bird near where it was found. Once back at the office, I opened the box. It took a couple of minutes — but my green friend stepped from the box, promised not to poop on my car, and flew away. The promise was implied, of course.
Opportunities are all around us, and easily missed
You’re likely asking at this point: What does this story have to do with anything? How does it relate to ANY of my previous blogs? It may relate more than we both realize! I have previously written on the benefits of gift giving, finding purpose and meaning, and partnering with your local community. This story touches on all those things, but the main lesson I learned is that opportunities to make a difference are all around us.
The history of the organization that helped my feathered friend had its start in 1973 and has been in their current location for more than two decades. Although the facility is located less than 15 minutes away, I had never set foot in the place and had to use my GPS to find my way there. Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary is always looking for hands-on volunteers and, of course, financial support. This one organization provides opportunity in volunteering, internship, education and more.
Take notice of what’s around you in your community
Organizations like this are out there — and they offer opportunities that can be mutually beneficial. Even with a relatively small investment of time you can play a vital role that can have a huge impact on your community. It will also likely play a key role in your own sense of being and mental fitness.
I have probably driven past the facility that attended to my avian buddy hundreds of times and never noticed it, honestly. Lesson learned. It’s easy for things we pass by every day to become invisible.
So, as you take your commute to work, go shopping, or run errands — take notice of what’s around you. What you see may just be a new opportunity.