Don’t underestimate the old man feeding the ducks


Mandy duckEvery morning without fail – rain or shine, weekend or Bank Holiday – an elderly man visits my local park and feeds the ducks.

Unaware of passers-by, he bends down to the growing gaggle of ducks, geese and seagulls around his feet and carefully dispenses bread from one of his many carrier bags. Sometimes he talks to the birds, encouraging them closer or scolding the greedy ones.

He is punctual as well as consistent. You can almost set your clock by him; he starts his rounds at 8.15 am, visiting several locations, and finishes about three-quarters of an hour later. I know, because I’m often out running round the Park at the same time.

Finding meaning in your life can be as simple as feeding the ducks

This elderly man impresses me. He goes about his task in a quiet and dedicated manner.  He doesn’t complain about the weather or of the repetitious nature of his task.

Feeding the ducks clearly means a great deal to him.

It’s a ritual that brings shape and purpose to his day. Presumably, he gets a great deal of personal fulfilment and enjoyment from this simple act.

This is a humbling reflection. Finding a purpose and bringing  meaning to your life does not need to involve big plans, grand statements or travel to distant lands. You can find it in your local park.

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