"Better watch out for that cat." its mom always said.
And then of course there were the humans. Whenever there was a human around, you'd better beware too. After all, you never knew what a human would do. The most unpredictable of all creatures, they were. One day they would feed you, the next morning they would chase you away or try to catch you even, and the day after that, they'd be surprised if you wouldn't come over and sit on their shoulder.
But right now, there were no humans or cats around and the little bird felt happy, just enjoying the sun warming its feathers. The bird tilted its little head to the side and started to whistle once again. A simple tune, some would say ... but those who truly listened, could hear something else.
Some might say that it wasn't very wise for the little bird to just sit there and whistle because it still had to find something to eat ... and it also had to repair its nest that had been damaged by last night's storm ... and although the sun was shining, the weather wouldn't stay sunny forever ... and even though there was no cat, there might be other animals lurking about!. Yes, once you started, the list of potential dangers was endless. The little bird knew about all this though. It knew about the food, the damaged nest, the other animals, the winter coming ... but right now, there were no cats or other animals in sight, the sun was shining and food was abundant. Right now, the bird said, all was well.
That's just how the little bird lived. That is how all of the animals lived. All of the animals, except for the humans that is. The humans had this disorder. The humans would always do the funniest things ... things the little bird didn't understand ... things that made their lives ever so complicated. Yes, for no obvious reason, the humans would always start to worry.
What was it the humans constantly worried about? The bird had observed many of them over a long period. Actually it had been watching humans for most of its life. The other birds had often told it to stop wasting its time.
"They are just humans." they said, "Nobody understands them. Ask any of the other animals and they will tell you. The humans have lost it. They have forgotten how to live. Nobody knows what has happened to them but they don't seem to be able to see the things as they are anymore."
The little bird however, just couldn't accept it. It wanted to understand why! Why were the humans acting so strangely? Surely they weren't happy with it! Just as it was for all the other animals, the humans too had all that they needed, yet for no obvious reason, the humans always worried. They worried about all the things that might go wrong. Some of them even got so worried that they lived in constant fear. Fear for things that might happen. And in doing so, they just plain forgot to look at the things they had. Yes, they completely missed seeing what they had.
At first, the bird thought that the humans would stop acting this way as soon as they realized that most of their fears were unreal but whenever such a moment arrived, they had already invented a hundred new things to be afraid of.
The bird looked at the other animals. It saw a cat purring on a chair, a dog sniffing in search for his bone, a bird flying around looking for something to eat. None of them seemed to be in the least bit worried. Did they have something the humans missed? The bird thought about this for a second but couldn't find it. Were they lacking on food, sleep, understanding, friendship, love? The bird looked again. No, nothing! They had it all ... or they could get it, if only they wanted to.
The bird now looked at some children playing further down the street. The young humans didn't have that problem, it thought. The young humans, although not to be trusted either, not from the little birds point of view that is, at least behaved normally ... and as a consequence they enjoyed life. But as soon as they grew older, something happened ... something that prevented them from living. It was what the adult humans called 'growing up', something which was probably very hard to do as the process took them about half their lives ... and then, by the time they were grownups, they had this weird condition.
Once again the bird looked at the children and gradually something dawned on it. These children, just like all of the other animals, still lived in the present. They didn't worry about what might happen tomorrow. Even if sometimes they were unhappy or afraid, it was because of something that happened, or didn't happen, in the now.
How weird, thought the little bird. Can't these 'grownups' see then? Can't they see that even their own kids know?
"Always try to be like the bird Shaoni." the wizard said as he finished the story, "People would be surprised to find what beauty life offers if only they cared to look. Life isn't half as complicated as most people think it is. Not if you live in the present, it isn't."
"But haven't you always said that we should work on our future ... create our own future even?"
"Yes ... and so you should, but that doesn't mean that you should allow fear to govern your life! Only look at the future as an even better present for you to create. You can project for yourself a new future, therefore you can create. Use it well Shaoni ... or it will use you!"
The next morning Shaoni woke up, hearing a bird whistle. "Live in the present. Live in the present." it said ... or at least that's what it sounded like to Shaoni. The bird whistled. A harmonious song .A wake-up call ... made to awaken the humans. The bird flew off to go sit by a human's window. Thousands of others did the same. They all whistled their song.
Would the humans understand? Would they open their hearts ... and enjoy the moment?
Later that evening
Later that evening, when all had gone quiet and a blanket of peace had unfolded over the world, the wizard came up to the boy and said ...
"Have you ever been happy in the future? Have you ever felt rich, loved, sad or angry ... in the future? Think about it Shaoni, then tell me. Even if you feel happiness for something that might happen in the future, you always feel it in the NOW!
You cannot feel in the future, cannot experience in the future either. It is all done in the present. That is where you live ... that is the only place where you can experience ... the beauty of life.
Real happiness and joy is only found in the present. Still, we constantly try to create the best circumstances so that we can, one day, be happy in the future. And thus, we are running after a moving train, a train we can never catch.
See yourself running behind that train, Shaoni. Then stop and turn back! Back to the present. Only when you have done that, will you be able to see ... that the present already contains everything you need."