Be a Chicken

There is one person I have seen almost daily for about the past year who inspires me to do things.  His energy, excitement, and great attitude are something I think everyone could use a piece of.  Who is this person?  Why, it’s a guy in a chicken costume of course!  Yes, you read that correctly. A guy in a chicken costume.  Well, sometimes he’s dressed like the Statue of Liberty.  No, I haven’t lost my mind.

I’m a creature of habit.  Okay, let’s be honest, I have OCD, so I like routine.  Pattern.  When I go out to lunch during the week, I go to the same three restaurants and have my usual meal at each.  Two of these restaurants are on the same road and my route takes me past a small strip of stores.  Almost every day a guy stands near the road promoting the chicken place, or, during tax season, Liberty Tax Accounting (hence the Statue of Liberty).

I say he stands, but jumps, dances, runs, and does jumping jacks and push-ups would be more apt.  This guy has crazy energy.  I’ve never seen someone so happy to be doing his job.  Usually, I feel sorry for the bored teenagers or early twenty somethings standing in the muggy heat on the side of the road holding signs proclaiming “Pizza! $5.99!” or “Liquidation Sale!”.  Chicken Guy, though? Not only do I not have pity for him, I find myself envious of him.  I wish I loved my job as much as that guy loves his.  Heck, I wish I loved everything as much as he loves his job!

Every time I pass him I can’t help but smile.  I sit in the turn lane waiting for the light to flick to green and watch Chicken Guy dance around waving at cars and, honestly, it brightens my day.  I’d love to sit and talk to this dude, what makes him so happy?  What is his outlook on life?  How does he have the courage to make an idiot of himself on a daily basis?  I want to tell him that his energy and general jolly-ness make me want to have a better outlook.  I’m pretty certain that would be weird though.

Of course he could be a total Debbie Downer in real life, or just a weirdo, so maybe it’s better these thoughts stay in my head (and across the interwebs).  That doesn’t change the fact that his attitude inspires me.  I’ve also been inspired by another creature, a real animal this time. 

I just started reading a book called “Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat” by Gwen Cooper.  It’s about a cat who, due to a serious infection, had his eyes removed at just four weeks of age.  Instead of sitting on his laurels afraid to interact with a world he can’t see, Homer fearlessly plunges into the world around him.  Here is an excerpt that I found escpecially inspiring:

“Every leap from a chair back or table-top is taken on faith, a potential leap into the abyss.  Every ball chased down a hallway is an act of implicit bravery.  Every curtain or countertop climbed, every overature of friendship to a new person, every step forward taken without guidance into the dark void of the world around him is a miracle of courage.  He has no guide dog, no cane, no language in which he can be reassured or made to understand the shape and nature of the hurdles he encounters.  My other cats see out of the windows of our home, and so they know the boundaries of the world they inhabit.  But Homer’s world is boundless and ultimately unknowable; whatever room he’s in contains all there is to contain, and is therefore infinite.  Having only the most glancing of relationships with time and space, he transcends them both.”

I’ve read that particular passage three times now (once when reading chapters, a second time aloud to my husband, and a third here) and every time I am moved by it.  Call me a sap, or a weirdo, or whatever you will, but the faith and courage of this blind creature astound and inspire me. 

So what’s the point of all this?  The point is, we should all be chickens.  Rather, be like Chicken Guy and Homer the Wonder Cat.  We should approach life with the attitude they have.  Fearless, happy, courageous, boundless.  You may think I’m crazy, but every time I see that happy bouncing chicken on the roadside, it makes me happy.  Every time I read that piece about Homer, I want his courage.  So, my friends, go!  Go and be chickens!

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