Give Yourself a Cliff


Cliff - Wikipedia
Cliff - Wikipedia

The image is from Cliff – Wikipedia.


Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin

A man picked up a baby bird from the side of the road and decided to bring it home so that his son could play with it. His son put the baby bird together with chickens and raised them together.

Image result for image of baby eagle
The image is from The Salt Lake Tribune

As the bird grew up, the family realized that the baby bird was an eagle. Although the eagle got along well with the chickens, from time to time a chicken would be missing from the flock. The family began to suspect that the eagle had been eating the chickens. They asked the man to kill the eagle. The man was reluctant at first, but because of the pressure from his family members, he decided he would free the eagle instead of killing it. But no matter where he left the eagle, it always returned to his house.

Someone suggested instead that they bring the eagle to a cliff and just to throw it off. The man did so, tossing the bird over the cliff. In the beginning, the eagle was just like a rock – it dropped straight down, and just as it seemed like it was going to hit the bottom of the cliff, the eagle opened its wings and flew, higher and farther away until the man could not see it, and never came back.

Image result for image of eagles
The image is from US Fish & Wildlife Service – Migratory Bird Program | Conserving …

The eagle had wings, and when it was thrown over the cliff, it used them to fly. But when it was raised in the world of the chickens, all it ever knew was that birds did not fly. He never trained to fly, and he enjoyed the comforts of the henhouse. Gradually, he lost the will and the confidence to spread his wings. If no one had thrown him off of the cliff, he would have never flown and found the world that belonged to him.

A lot of times, we are afraid to face a cliff.

A great American jazz composer, George Gershwin, also encountered his own cliff. He had composed orchestral pieces before, but when band leader Paul Whiteman, who admired him, invited him to write a composition with him, he refused, thinking that he would not have time to do a good job on it. Later, he found an article in a magazine about Whiteman’s concert that declared Gershwin himself was currently composing the piece, even though he had refused before. Gershwin was shocked and confronted Whiteman, who said that what was done was done. Gershwin had no way out but to write the piece, which he hastily did in just five weeks.

Image result for George Gershwin
The image is from The Biography of George Gershwin | Teen Jazz Legends

What he wrote was “Rhapsody in Blue,” one of the most well-recognized orchestral jazz pieces in history. Because of it, Gershwin quickly became one of America’s most well-known composers.

Sometimes we need to be put into a position that gives us a sense of urgency so that we can be restored, and so our tree of life produces more outstanding flowers.

People are always reluctant to leave their comfort zone. They do not want to let go of what is easy. But if we ever want to have a breakthrough, we must understand that, at that critical moment, on the edge of the cliff, it is possible to get another piece of the blue sky.

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