A white breasted nuthatch often travels upside down on a tree trunk. This bird has very strong feet, one for gripping and the other to stabilize. This enables the downward movement, allowing it to see and catch the “big bugs” not seen by most birds. The nuthatch I painted came from photos taken in Concord MA while visiting a treasured friend. The desire to paint the nuthatch came from the wish to hold on to a joyful memory.
It also fit with my feeling that the world has turned “upside down”. Not so long ago I was reading books like the following: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey; Live and Learn, and Pass it On by H. Jackson Brown Jr., and Chicken Soup for the Soul, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
Where have all of these positive forward-looking books and beliefs gone? Covey’s book promotes “The Character Ethic” which includes the following habits:
- Valuing and respecting people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
- Using empathic listening to genuinely understand a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you.
- Combining the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.
Maybe rereading these books is a way for me to turn my personal world right side up again. After all, unlike the nuthatch, I don’t need to catch the big bugs.
Thanks for listening!