The bird with bad vocal cords

What kind of bird are you? Even more importantly, how do you treat other birds who stand out?

The bird with bad vocal cords

The bird with bad vocal cords 1024 768 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


On our walk to school this morning, we passed under a tree full of chirping birds. There must have been dozens of little sparrows, finches, and chickadees singing from the naked winter branches above. I told my boys to stop and listen.

We listened for few seconds, and then one of my kids says, “Geez, that one sure has some bad vocal cords.” And he was right. There was some kind of bird, I’m not sure what kind it was—but amongst the beautiful “chirp, chirp, chirp,” he had a definite “squawk, squawk,squawk.” It wasn’t pretty.

In Japan, they say “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down (出る釘は打たれる).” If you’re different, you get put in your place.

Someone in brand marketing might say that you have to stick out and be different to get noticed. Some will like it, and some won’t. But at least they see you.

What kind of bird are you? Do you stand out, or fit in with the others?

Even more importantly, how do you treat others who stand out? Do you hammer them down? Or do you accept that all of us are a little bit different in one way or another?

→ Do you know the story of Marlon Bundo, Mike Pence’s boy-loving bunny? He and his friends are different too. Listen to how we read it here.


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