On a rainy Monday morning, several students were sitting in a classroom. They were attentively listening to their teacher who was teaching them about the history of their country. The teacher was telling his students that many countries had tried to occupy their homeland. Many had tried but very few had succeeded in their attempts for occupation.
Humans above all wanted to be free. Humanity was always striving for freedom. People and countries were forever longing to be free from the shackles of their oppressors.
During the lesson of history, the teacher was telling his students about the countless wars and struggles of their forefathers who wanted freedom above all. But the struggle for freedom could not be taught. The struggle for freedom seemed impossible to transfer through words, for freedom only becomes real when we ourselves experience the struggle. The only way to experience true freedom is through struggle.
On this rainy Monday morning, while the teacher was talking, a bird flew through the opened classroom window.
The bird was looking for shelter from the rainy day. It found solace in the classroom which was filled with students. While the bird found solace from the rain, now it experienced a new fear. It experienced the fear of being captured.
“Everyone, remain calm.” said the teacher.
The students listened. But the bird did not. While the students were sitting calmly in their chairs, the bird was flapping its wings, trying to get out of the classroom.
“I think the bird is scared. I don’t know what is it scared of?” asked one of the students.
“The bird wanted to find cover from the rainy day. It got lucky in escaping the rain, but now it thinks that it found greater trouble,” answered the teacher.
“There is no trouble in the here,” said another student innocently. “The bird can sit in the corner and wait for the rain to stop. We don’t mind.”
“In the bird’s mind, we are his trouble. To the little scared bird, we all look like monsters who are trying to eat it,” said the teacher.
A brave little boy who was sitting nearby the agitated flapping bird decided to gently grab the bird. The little boy wanted to set it free. He wanted to let the bird out the window from where it came.
But this disturbed the disturbed bird even more. In panic, the bird now started flying from corner to corner, hitting his head in the walls, trying to find its way out.
“I didn’t mean to scare it!” mumbled the little boy. “I only wanted to set it free!”
“I know. But the bird didn’t know that. It thought that you wanted to harm it,” said the teacher reaffirming the worry of his student. “It would be best if we don’t touch the bird. I think the bird is supposed to find its own way out of our classroom.”
After a few minutes, the bird saw the opened window through which it came. In the moment of joy, it leaped into its freedom through the opened window. The bird was finally free again.
All the students applauded the little bird that found its way back to freedom. The classroom rejoiced. But most of all, the bird was elated with its newly found freedom.
At that moment, the bell ringed. The class was over and the students were free to go and have lunch. But before they went for lunch, the teacher had some final words of wisdom to share with his students.
“I hope that you have learned the lesson that the bird has thought us today, my students. The bird taught you that you can never give freedom to those who fear. In fear, they will see your attempts of help as an attack on their freedom. Freedom is achieved only when we quiet our fears and recognize that the world is here to help us realize our own journey to freedom.”
“But only you can conquer your fears, nobody else can do it for you. Only you can set yourself free,” said the teacher. Although the teacher’s goal was to teach his students everything that he knew about life, the teacher admitted that there were some things that can never be thaught. The leap into freedom was one of those things.
“You are now free to go to lunch,” said the teacher at the end.