Spread Your Wings and Fly

spread your wings

Image credit: Wisdom of the Heart/Facebook

Today is Thursday, September 5, 2013.

“Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.”  –Anonymous

A good definition on the web for the phrase “spread your wings” says that it means to use your abilities for the first time in your life to do new and exciting things.

Those of us who were in our teens and early twenties in the late 70s may remember a song called “Spread Your Wings,” sung by Queen on their 1977 album, News of the World.  The song told the story of Sammy, a janitor at a place called the Emerald Bar.  Sammy’s boss tells him that he spends too much time dreaming, and that he will never amount to much, and that he should be content with his job at the bar.  Meanwhile, Sammy dreams of something more.

The last repetition of the chorus goes like this:

So honey
Spread your wings and fly away
Fly away far away
Spread your little wings and fly away
Fly away far away
Pull yourself together
‘Cos you know you should do better
That’s because you’re a free man
Come on honey

*** *** *** *** ***

Some of you may be reminded of a Public Service Announcement that came out in 2010 by a charitable organization called Foundation for a Better Life, located on the web at values.com.   The foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 for the sole purpose of promoting positive values and encouraging people to pass them on to others.  The messages are always uplifting, but never connected with any religious or political agenda.  The “Spread Your Wings” video can be seen here.  There is a transcript of the song just below the video.   One section of the lyrics:

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes, till I touch the sky
I gotta
Take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And break away

*** *** ***

It takes courage to break away from what we are used to, but everyone who has ever done it has made it clear that they are glad that they did.  That includes me.  Breaking away can be a messy business, and things don’t always work out right away.  Ray Bradbury wrote, “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off.  Build your wings on the way down.”  That’s, frankly, very scary.   He also said, “…you’ll find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”  Some comfort!

In the end, though, whatever happens, the situation is almost always better than it was before.  If it’s not, that just means you’ve reached a landing from which you will have to jump again.  After all, “…you know you should do better.  That’s because you’re a free man.”   Or woman.  🙂


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