If someone calls you a turkey, it’s usually not a good thing. And yet, Benjamin Franklin liked the turkey better than the bald eagle as the symbol of America.* Why is that??
I decided to learn a little about them and discovered how interesting they are. While clearly there’s one big reason NOT to be a turkey at Thanksgiving (ehem), we’d enjoy the holiday a lot more if we acted like them.
They’re good listeners
Turkeys don’t have physical ears, but they have amazing hearing. Like them, when we find we’re missing resources we think we need to be present with others, we can listen anyway. Let’s be good listeners this holiday.
They’re open about feelings
A turkey’s grey head and neck skin changes colors with their mood – if they’re nervous, excited, scared or sad. Being real lets others know what to expect from them in the moment. Let’s decide we’ll be honest and real in ways that open relationships this holiday too.
They’re surprising… in a good way
Like wild peacocks, these large birds can fly – sometimes as fast as 55 miles per hour. They also run at 25 miles per hour. That may seem surprising as you look at this unassuming native bird. We’ve all got positive talents and traits that may surprise others. This holiday, let’s decide to let a little of that out!
They eat healthy
These birds eat lots of vegetation, nuts, seeds, grain, and protein. While we wouldn’t probably choose lizards as our protein source like they do, we can make substitutions that give our bodies what they need most this season.
They speak up when it’s important
Turkeys make lots of vocalizations, the gobble being only one. In certain situations, the birds’ calls can be heard a mile away. Like them, we can choose to speak up and be heard clearly when it matters this holiday.
They get good rest
Wild turkeys roost in trees, preferably in branches over water to protect them from nocturnal predators. With a little intention and some well-placed trust in God, we can make our sleeping place a haven from distractions, noise, and the day’s worries that seek to prey on tired minds.
They have a bigger vision
With a 270 degree field of vision, they see widely and in color (unusual for many animals). We could all do with a little wider vision of the world around us and the people in it this holiday. Take time to notice, greet and connect with others as you’re shopping, cooking or traveling.
Here’s to a happier Thanksgiving this year, as we all act a little more like turkeys!