Monday, March 7, 2011

Bum Rap

"At the end of 40 days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made & sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth."
(Genesis 8:6-7)

Perception is often reality.  Consider the raven in the story of Noah's Ark.  Anyone with a cursory familiarity of the story remembers two birds: the raven & the dove.  One bird has come be to known as a hero, the other a goat (figuratively speaking, of course).  One became a symbol of purity & peace, the other a pest.  One returned to Noah, one didn't.  One brought back reconnaissance intel, the other was selfish.  At least... that's the perception, isn't it?

But is the raven getting a fair shake in this story (or our understanding of it)?  It was, indeed, the first bird released by Noah after the flood.  It flew & flew & flew... until it eventually found a place to land.  That's all we know about it.

The dove, on the other hand, gets much more press.  It is sent out (some non-descript time after the raven)... cannot find a place to land... and subsequently returns to the ark.  I sit really more loyal to Noah than the raven?  Or just not as physically fit?  Maybe doves aren't strong endurance fliers?  Well, a week later it gets sent back out... and this time returns with an olive branch (oops, no, it's a LEAF!).  A week later, Expedition III is launched... and this time the dove NEVER returns.

Now maybe Noah briefed the dove prior to each expedition, explaining in "dove-talk" what was expected (bring me a branch/leaf, scout us out a new home, go on your merry way, etc.).  But I doubt it (Dr. Doolittle is not a biblical story).  More likely, the dove was just acting like any other bird.  Just like the raven, the dove eventually flew away when it had the chance.  Because that's what birds do.

Why blog about this?  (Good question)  I think I was reminded this morning that there are always 2 sides to every story (or reputation!).  And a person's (or creature's) rep may or may not be reality.  I should take the time to get to know for myself... then form an opinion.

(And how about a shoutout to all those misunderstood ravens out there today!?!?)

No comments: