I am becoming more and more of a bird lover. We've always had birds as pets at one point or another. Pete the Canary (subject of an archived blog entry) is our most recent addition.

Pete's hourly songs bring such unexpected joy to everyone in our family. It's miraculous to me that a bird so small can belt out such melodic tunes so beautifully.

My goal is to own a Conure one day (my wife had one and swears by them) as my own little feathered friend (imagine the bond after 25-30 years plus of its average lifespan).

But my blog today is about my observations just outside our family room window. We have a family of blue birds nesting in the eaves and even as I write this blog I am in awe as the mother bird flies out constantly to bring back food for her little ones.

And you know what? She never fails them. She ALWAYS manages to come back with sustenance for them.

What choice does she have? She can't let them die. So she does what needs to be done. PERIOD. Call it natural instinct. Call it maternal instinct. Call it the call of the wild.

However you label it, the scenario is even referenced in the Bible. That somehow the birds of the air manage to raise and feed and nurture their young even though they don't toil at work all day long like many of us do.

And there are no welfare checks for birds. Nor have you ever seen a bird with a poorly written sign at the end of an off ramp begging you for a handout.

The bird is self reliant. It is determined. And it seems to have more independence in its little beak than many Americans have in their entire bodies.

This is the natural instinct that used to be in all of us, too.

But watch what happens to that same bird if you spoil it day in and day out with food and goodies. It will do what we do under those circumstances.

It will get fat and lazy. Sorry if that's offensive, but the truth often is.

Why do you think State and National Parks forbid you from feeding the wildlife? Safety is of course a concern. It makes the animals bolder, etc. But with that boldness comes dependence. The rangers don't want that squirrel or bear to forget how to forage for themselves. It could jeopardize their very existence. And God help you if you TAKE BACK what they have been getting as an entitled routine.

The same holds true for people.

You give people handout after handout, so called entitlement after entitlement, and guess what? They grown dependent on SOMEONE else to take care of them.

I often use on my radio show the example of unemployment benefits. Is it hard to find work? For many, yes it is. But what does 99 weeks of unemployment do for one's motivation and sense of urgency to find work? IT KILLS IT. I read an article just yesterday about how employers don't even want to look at many of the long term unemployed when they can hire someone who HAS been working and shown more initiative and motivation.

If you knew you had to find work of ANY kind within, say, a month or two or three...wouldn't you act with more urgency than to know you were covered for almost 2 full years? You know the answer to that. If you were in the wilderness and had two days of food and water in your backpack versus a month's, wouldn't you act quite differently?

When I got suddenly fired from radio years ago, I took on a job the SAME DAY. And when that wasn't enough, I got a second and a third. I wasn't going to fly back to the nest and shrug my shoulders and tell my children, "Oh well. Sorry!!"

The mother blue bird just flew off again a moment ago to find food for her young. She knows that no one else will do it for her. Her babies depend on her.

And thankfully she doesn't disappoint them. Rain or shine, her babies can rely on her to come back.

No cardboard signs or guilt trips for this momma bird.

Good for her.

These are the lessons of a blue bird.