It’s always fascinating to see what immature birds are up to this time of year. So, when a young vulture took an interest in an old tarp that covers our pile of kindling, I couldn’t help but notice.
This juvenile, fresh out of the nest, has clearly acquired some knowledge about how his kind feed themselves, but he is still rather ignorant of key truths about food. This has encouraged him to go where food isn’t, namely a tarp.
Clearly, he has watched his parents scavenge his meals from dead animal carcasses. As you watch him, you might notice that our tarp bears some resemblance, in form, to an animal hide. And he is making an admirable effort to peck his way through it.
Ignorance is like that. It’s that familiar condition of partial understanding which leads to misplaced energy and effort. The mind declares, “Eureka! I have found it!” (Whatever “it” happens to be at the time.) And so we excitedly pour energy into the endeavor, misdirected by our excitement and bliss to a disappointing conclusion.
The truth is, ignorance is bliss only while we are projecting that our efforts will lead us to what we think we want. And here’s the irony: rather than growing and learning from our disappointing results, we tend to keep chasing bliss instead.
Now, eventually this not-so-little fellow moved on, presumably driven by hunger. However, I suspect he did not engage in what a human might do, and that is to beat himself up when his efforts did not come to fruition. He very likely learned a thing or two instead.