There was once a pet shop that specialized in selling exotic birds from all over the world. Each was beautiful and unique in its own way.
One was flamboyant, colorful, loud, opinionated. She squawked and preened and positioned herself all day for best effect.
Another was more subdued and quieter. Muted browns and dark reds, quiet moaning coos, but still beautiful. She preferred to be left alone and remain still.
And then there was the singing bird. The one who, if she had her way, would sing all day. Not particularly colorful, but when she sang, her true beauty and uniqueness shone. The other birds became annoyed with her, and by looks and glares, they convinced her it was best to remain quiet.
All of this continued for many days, weeks, months. The tension in the shop was palpable, even though the birds all had their own unique wonderfulness.
Until one day, the shop door was propped open. A warm spring wind was present, and the shop owner wanted to feel the hope of spring on his face. He did not notice that the songbird’s cage had been left slightly ajar after the cleaning. All he saw, moments later, were the joyful tailfeathers of the singing bird as she flew away to freedom. He heard her singing voice, and he smiled.
After that day, the other birds decided they missed the singing bird, and they were kinder to each other. They let each other be who they were. All birds who were created uniquely and beautifully. And sometimes on a warm spring day, they would hear the beautiful song of their friend, the singing bird.