I was reading an assignment for Employment Relations and this question was in the beginning of the Managing Diversity Chapter. I think it is brilliant.
A 2nd grade school teacher asks - "There are four blackbirds sitting in a tree. You take a slingshot and shoot one of them. How many are left?
Three, answered the seven-year old European with certainty. "One subtracted from four leaves three."
Zero, answered the African seven-year old with equal certainty. "If you shoot one bird the others will fly away."
Which child answered correctly?
I posted it onto two young adult groups and this is my interpretation:
The European child's logic relates to our relationship with God and our relationship with the unsaved.
1. Think of the struck bird as yourself; when it is your time to meet the Lord.
No one else's stewardship will be able to save us i.e. your prayerful parents, dedicated spouse, ordained relative, etc. We will be accountable for ourselves, when we stand before Him from our actions, character, and I think most importantly our daily relationship with Him; devotions, prayer etc.
And when it is your time to go, the rest of life will go on. However,...
-Did we do everything we were supposed to do during our time on that tree(earth)?
-Would the other birds on that tree have no doubt in their mind where we are going after leaving the tree, by the way we lived our life day in and day out?
2. Think of the struck bird as an unsaved person in your life (work, school, friend etc).
The blood of our friends and people we come into contact with is in our hands. Imagine if you have a friend or family member that is not saved. And we go on with our daily regiment possibly taking a few things for granted as they haphazardly live their lives without knowing God. Suddenly, it is their time to go and we did not make sure that we did what we could to make sure they were saved.
-Did we, as the salt and light of the earth, speak/minister to everyone we were supposed to on that tree?
The African child's logic relates to our relationship with other Kingdom builders.
1. Think of the struck bird as another Christian in your life.
This can be a Christian friend struggling with anything. Basically, we are our brother's keeper, and we all should stick together and build each other up and help each other to become better people. This includes praying, fellowshipping, celebrating, checking up on each other and holding each other accountable. My coach used to say we're only as strong as our weakest link. We can not watch one of us backslide or go back into the world and do nothing about it.
So maybe the story has a happy ending if the other three birds quickly went to help the bird and did all they could to help their friend. On the other hand, maybe the other three birds just flew away to another comfort zone, and left their fallen mate to the world to eat at; not a happy ending.
2 cents. Holla.