IMG_4427I’d spent the entire night studying for an 8:00 a.m. exam, only to be awakened by my annoying alarm clock at 7:35 a.m.  Thankful I’d gone to bed in matching pajamas, I washed my face, brushed my teeth and ran six blocks as fast as I could through the morning sunshine.  I made it to class just in time.

As I sat trying to catch my breath, the professor passed the exams out face down  I took a moment to pray. Feeling confident from my long night of studying, I turned the exam over to begin.  It only took a few seconds for me to realize one thing – I didn’t know the answers. I’d spent hours studying and in an apparent sleepy stupor set my alarm for the wrong time, only to race to discover that I’d studied the wrong chapters.

Fighting back tears, I gave it my best. Disappointed, I turned in my exam and walked out the door.  Since I’d gotten my morning exercise by running to class, I took the elevator to the ground floor.  As I looked out the double doors, I realized the morning sunshine had turned into icky rain.  So, in my matching pajamas, I proceeded down the street.  The more I walked the harder it rained, and then came the downpour.  I picked up my pace and ran as fast as I could to find shelter.  I made it to a little café and sat there drenched.

After over an hour of feeling sorry for myself, the rain stopped.  Realizing I was almost dry, I decided to try to make it home again.  I made it to the corner and smiled realizing I was only a few blocks away from home.  At that moment a little sports car zoomed right through a puddle and there I stood drenched once again.  All of my positive thinking went away and I began sobbing.  I looked up in complete despair and disgust and quietly said “what else could happen to me?”  At that very moment a little bird pooped – right in the middle of my forehead.   I wiped my face, ran to my house, showered, and didn’t come out for the rest of the day.

After sulking for hours, I found some humor in this day and learned some life lessons.

1) Always make sure you are not only prepared, but prepared for the RIGHT thing.

2) Set your alarm before you get sleepy.

3) NEVER ask “what else could happen to me?”

Years later, I often think of that day and how I let one little mishap ruin the whole day.  The icky rain later brought more sunshine that I missed while pouting in my room.  Today I’m grateful for that little bird pooping on my forehead.  It serves as a subtle constant reminder that things could always be worse.  Challenge yourself to find your gratitude today, before a little bird helps you.



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    Last reviewed: 25 Jun 2012

APA Reference
White, D. (2012). How a Little Bird Taught Me Gratitude. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from



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