Once upon at time there was a dove. He lived in on the outskirts of a rural farming community. Well, he lived in a tree on the outskirts of a rural farming community. It was a farming community that grew wheat that was primarily used in industrial sized bread factories. Because the fields were so large, there was plenty of opportunities for the birds to come and have their fill of wheat without really worrying about putting in a dent in the farmers income. Most people don’t know that doves are actually fairly concerned with the symbiotic relationship they have with their environment. They are really concerned that they donâ€™t over consume, because they know that if they do that, they will damage the area they live in, and they will have to move. While there are still many areas that doves can move to in order to find resources, they are concerned that future generations won’t have enough, so they are careful. But I digress.
This particular dove was starting to have strange feelings about other doves. Not all doves, mind you, only young, lady doves. It was really strange the way it was happening to him. At first, he felt kind of funny, and he didn’t know if he should tell anybody. Maybe they would think he was strange, or different. Maybe they would laugh at him, or even worse. So for a while he didnâ€™t anybody. But then the feeling became too powerful to ignore. Pretty soon it was all that he could think about. When he was with his friends, it didn’t bother him so much. But whenever he found himself near a girl dove that was about the same age as him, the feeling was impossible to ignore. He couldnâ€™t take his mind off of her. He wanted to talk to her. Sometimes he would imagine how wonderful it would be if she were feeling the same things about him as he was feeling about her.
But try as he might, he just couldn’t get up the courage to hop over, and start up a conversation. As much as he had an incredible desire to do so, he kept imagining what would happen if she laughed at him. Or screamed, or called over the adults. What if he really was different? What if this feeling wasn’t normal, and people found out about it, what then? They might even banish him for their town, and he’d have to fly to another town. How would he explain himself? He noticed that the same thing happened every time. He’d see this girl dove, and feel an almost overwhelming desire to go and talk with her, and then his desire would suddenly turn into horrible fears and imaginations of what would happen if something went wrong.
Finally, he decided to share his predicament with somebody. But not just anybody. He decided to talk with his grandfather. His grandfather was the kind of bird that didn’t talk much. But when he did talk, he spoke with incredible wisdom and kindness. Almost everybody regarded him as a very knowledgeable fellow that knew a lot about life. It was said that he had been around since the before times, when it wasn’t so easy to get food. When he spoke, people listened.
So this young dove went to see his grandfather.
“You seem to have a problem.” The grandfather noted, before the young dove even spoke. The young dove was awestruck.
“Let me guess. Girl troubles? You see a girl you like?” the young dove continued to be amazed at his grandfathers insight. He finally spoke up.
“How can I talk to her?” He asked.
“Just like you are talking to me.” He responded.
“Butâ€¦” The young dove said, trailing off.
“Let me guess. You want to talk to her, but you are afraid of what will happen if you do. ”
“Yes, that’s right.” The young dove said meekly.
The old dove paused, and then spoke.
“Your mind is young, and inexperienced. It is natural. When you focus too much on your fears, they can overcome you. Practice focusing on the good things that might happen. This is what I want you to do. Do not talk to her. Only go near her, and imagine for one minute, one good thing that will happen if you do speak with her. One minute, then go someplace else and occupy your mind with other things. No more than one minute, do you understand?”
The young dove nodded.
“But how many times do Iâ€¦” The old dove silenced him, and smiled.
“Go! But remember this lesson. You will soon give it to another.” The young dove didn’t know what he meant by that, but he left anyways.
By the time spring came again, this young dove was now the leader of a large family of his own, who adored him greatly.