A wealthy man raised two parrots and kept them in identical gold wire cages, fed them the same diet, drank the same water, and spent equal effort teaching them to talk. Soon after, both parrots could speak, but one only liked to talk late at night.
One day, the rich man invited his friends and family to a banquet. While everyone was drinking and talking, one of the parrots spoke up and said, “Congratulations on your wealth and may you live a long life.” The rich man and the guests were happy to hear this. So, everyone’s attention was focused on the body of this talking parrot. The owner was very proud of himself and was busy introducing to everyone the breed and characteristics of this parrot. He repeatedly stressed to the guests that the other parrot could also talk.
The guests circled the other parrot, hoping to hear its beautiful blessings. But to their surprise, the parrot kept its head down and ate its food without looking at the guests. The guests felt bored, and the owner felt humiliated, so he gradually ignored the parrot and switched it to a bamboo cage, giving it only a tiny amount of water and food each day.
Late one night, the parrot who was left out said to another parrot, “Alas, my life is miserable, I can talk as well as you, but our fates are so different! You are living in paradise, eating and drinking well every day, and getting all the love from your master. But what about me? I live in hell, lacking food and water, and receiving blank looks from my master all day long.”
“Who can blame you for that? It’s your own fault. It is true that you can speak, and your voice is a hundred times more beautiful than mine, but what is the use of that? You only open your mouth at night, when your master has already gone to sleep and no one appreciates your beautiful words. Therefore, even if you speak beautifully, it does not help. I, on the other hand, say few words, but they are spoken at critical moments, which is why we are in such a different situation today.”
One can be appreciated and recognized by expressing oneself at the right time and place. Thus one can better utilize one’s strengths and ultimately realize one’s dreams in life.