Head in the sand
Once upon a time there was an ostrich. The ostrich had no concerns and was content to while away it’s days with it’s head in the sand. It would awaken that way in the mornings and drift to sleep that way at night. During the day it would seek out new sand to enjoy. It was at peace with itself and the world around it.
Then one day a man walked by and saw the ostrich with it’s head in the sand.
“Ostrich,” he said. “Why do you spend your days in such a state, idle and purposeless with your head in the sand?”
“Why shouldn’t I?,” said the ostrich. “It’s what I enjoy. I can think of nothing I would rather be doing.”
“Nonsense,” said the man. “There is plenty to be done. One must always aspire to fruitful endeavor, take charge of his own fate, and bring about true happiness for himself and others. Life is meaningless with out aspirations to attend to.”
“What will be your measure when time is done with you? Will you have brought about change and glory to the world, or will your passing be as forgettable as the wind? What legacy will you leave when your gone? Or are these grains of desert sand all that you will touch in this life?”
“Come with me ostrich! Together we will move mountains. Together we can change the world, reshape it to the betterment of all. We will live on forever in the hearts of all who come after, and in the history we shall forge. We will achieve such heights never dreamed.”
At first the ostrich demurred. He had no interests in the doings and hubris of others. But the man persisted and eventually convinced him to his way of thinking.
So, the ostrich left the desert, and journeyed into distant lands. He became a teacher and a prophet, and inventor and innovator. He gained numerous titles and degrees despite his physical disadvantages. Together he and the man won Nobel prizes and awards. They ended world hunger, cured diseases, and brought peace to the east. They built cities on land, in the air, and in the sea. They moved mountains. The world had entered a golden era. None had ever accomplished so much. Yet deep in the ostrich’s soul there was always a yearning for the sand.
The ostrich and the man grew old from their labors, and one day the ostrich went to see him.
“Man,” he said. “I feel I have accomplished much in this life, just as you said we could. Together we have changed the world, reshaped it to the betterment of all, and even moved a mountain or two. There is nothing left for me to do, our work is finished and I’m returning home to the sand.”
“But ostrich,” said the man. “There is no more sand.”
“Don’t you remember? We used it all to make concrete. We built cities, bridges, and schools with it. Those mountains we moved needed new foundations, not to mention damming up the pacific ocean for hydro electric power.”
The man continued, telling of all the great things they had built. He talked of saving California, cloning sea turtles, the worlds biggest half pipe, but the ostrich didn’t hear him. The only thing he could think was: “Damn, I can’t believe I wasted all that good sand.”