What comes to mind, when you think of the flamingo? A silly pink bird used as a common lawn ornament? Perhaps the unusual way it balances on one leg when it sleeps?
The flamingo is an unusual bird, though they are by no means rare. They are found naturally on all major continents except Australia and Antarctica, mostly along shallow lakes near the sea, though they are also a common sight at many zoos around the world.
With their vibrant pink colors, flamingoes are an obvious symbol of beauty. But how do they get that beauty? What work or virtues must one have to maintain such an image? Beauty isn’t always given, sometimes it is earned, and its maintenance is always hard work.
Flamingoes’ vibrant pink colors come from the brine shrimp they eat, and they will fly great distances to get them, sometimes hundreds of miles in one flight. Such conviction and commitment to their strict diet is required to maintain their color. Without the right food, flamingoes will turn back to the dull gray of their hatchling days.
Let’s tie this back to ourselves as humans. Don’t we also try to maintain ourselves at the best we can physically be? Do we not try to stick to a healthy diet, lest we bloat ourselves to unattractive and unhealthy corpulence? We may never reach the heights of beauty like these vivacious pink birds, but what is true beauty but living a healthy and happy life in as best physical condition as we can possibly be?
This brings us to the second, and equally as important piece of the equation to gain and maintain beauty. Rest. Sleep.
Flamingoes famously sleep balancing on one leg. It is awkward to look at, though it shows how committed the birds are to their beauty rest.
People these days famously suffer from lack of sleep. We should learn the lessons flamingo teaches us. If these birds can sleep on one leg, surely we should be able to adjust healthier sleep cycles, or at the very least, catnaps everywhere we can, whenever we can.
Flamingos represent the importance of living well. These birds strive to live life to the fullest, never missing a beat. That goes for mental health, in addition to physical.
The flamingo is a very social bird, gathering in flocks of up to a couple thousand. Flamingoes do everything together, from migrating, to eating, to raising their young. Mating season for the pink birds is one big dance party.
If Flamingo is your power animal, then you are an extrovert amongst extroverts. You are the center of attention at parties, and boy, do you love to party.
But, when the party’s over, Flamingo takes care of her family. Flamingos are excellent parents, raising their hatchlings all the way to adulthood, feeding them mouth to mouth as they grow.
You too may have your fun, plenty of it too. But you also know when it is time to settle down and take care of your kids. Loving to hang out with others while also caring for your family are not mutually exclusive.