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Developing potential


Everyone is a potential winner.

Some people are disguised as losers.

Don’t let their appearances fool you.

A popular legend tells the story of a young Indian lad who found an eagle’s egg lying on the ground. Since he couldn’t climb high enough to put the egg back into the eagle’s nest, he decided to do the next best thing. He put the egg into a nearby prairie chicken nest on the ground. Soon the eagle egg hatched in the nest along with the prairie chickens and the eaglet grew up with the prairie chickens. He thought he was one of them.

For years he lived doing all the things prairie chickens do. He scratched in the grass and dirt for insects and seeds to eat. He clucked and cackled. He flew only a few feet off the ground using brief but frequent episodes of thrashing his wings just like a prairie chicken is supposed to fly. In due time, the eaglet grew to adulthood but never realized he was an eagle.

Years later after the eagle had grown very old he noticed that high above him in the beautiful clear blue sky was a magnificent bird floating with such grace and majesty on the powerful wind currents up there.

“That’s a beautiful bird,” said the prairie chicken/eagle. “What is it?” “It’s an eagle, chief of the birds, one of the prairie chickens clucked. “But, don’t give it another thought. You could never be like him.”

So, the eagle, chief of the birds, never thought about it again. He died thinking he was a prairie chicken.

There’s a lesson in that legend for all mankind. Because of that eaglet’s unusual life and circumstances, he was never told how great he could have been. In fact, when he did ask the question that could have changed his life, he got the negative answer, “You could never be like him.”

Possibly you, like many of us, have friends or family members who aren’t reaching their full potential. Maybe they’re hampered by drugs or alcohol abuse; maybe they dropped out of school before graduation; maybe during their teenage years they were promiscuous; maybe they already have one or more children; maybe they have a criminal record or are in prison. Maybe they’ve lost hope. Maybe they’ve given up.

If so, maybe they are ready to accept some help, some encouragement. And, maybe you are a person who doesn’t want anyone to die a “prairie chicken” when they could have been an “eagle.” Maybe you’re the one who can help this real live misidentified “human eagle” who still thinks he’s a “prairie chicken.”

Maybe you’re the mentor who will walk beside him and encourage him. Maybe you’re the one who can honestly say, “I believe in you I can help you.” Maybe you’re the person who can help change the thoughts in his/her mind from negative to positive and help him/her soar up high like an eagle!

Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having put it this way, “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” When you’ve helped a human “Prairie Chicken” become the “Eagle” he/she was intended to be, your heart should swell with joy because you stood “so tall!”

Helping someone else isn’t always an easy task, but it is an important task. It’s a vital task. Who can you help beginning today?

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Ronald Reagan

Ken and Nan Webster have collected inspiration for many years from many sources, and now inspire readers of “A Matter That Matters.” Contact them at or visit

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