I am a member of the Passer domesticus family of birds, usually called common sparrows. Where I was hatched we tend to call ourselves "London sparrers." Yes, I was hatched a good few years back in jolly old London-a place that holds many happy memories of friends and good times. But I have an inquisitive heart and love to fly and to make discoveries, which has taken me to many lands where I have seen and learned many things.
I decided a few years back to use a feather from my wings and write down a few of the things I have learned from my flying. I did not spend as much time studying as the other birds, but I asked my wise friend Owl Reilly to help with the spelling and grammar so that you can understand me. He is a clever old owl and has helped many big birds around our world with some very complicated things-even the biggest birds in all the lands, up in a place called Seattle! To think he came from the next wood to me in London and has flown so high in the corporate sky!
I needed help finishing off my sketches, so I asked a friend of Owl Reilly (whom you will love instantly if you ever meet him, as I did and still do), big Albatross Nader. Well, big Nader let me use his office nest (he is in a place called Thailand, in a city called Bangkok) and introduced me to the Minor birds Ai and Joe , who as you can see are amazing artists. Ai finished off all the characters and Joe painted the backgrounds. The amazing Ai also worked magic with Photoshop.
I knew that we were going to produce some very special books from our union and committed to staying in the hot, humid city of Bangkok. I really liked the food and the other birds, but the air was very polluted from all the traffic. It was very hard for me to live there, but I knew I was doing a Good Thing, so for the next two years we all worked very hard. I had to totally change my lifestyle, as I all I did was work, practice yoga, eat, and sleep. I had to budget very tightly, because birdseed and rent for my nest cost more than I had budgeted for in Bangkok. It was a strict regimen, but seeing what we have produced and the immense good we can do through this project makes me very happy inside, and I look forward to sharing with children around the world some of the good lessons I have learned from my travels.
Another important part of this project is directing the majority of the profits toward helping to solve the problems that affect children, animals, and the environment through awareness, education, and action.
We can make a difference if we all come together to fix problems. There used to be a big hole in the ozone layer caused by things humans used in spray cans called CFCs. Then one day some clever scientists brought it to the attention of caring environmentalists, who brought it to the attention of the public, who lobbied politicians, who changed the laws so that we no longer could use the CFCs. We all came together and solved the problem-we are good like that!
I recently flew on one of Mr Branson's (HUGE RESPECT) big birds to the big land called America, where I have put together this website with the help of Ai (graphics and layout) and a new member of our team, Todd, who has programmed the website.
I have made my nest here and plan to stay here a while, as I find it a very creative place.
Some people say negative things about America, but if they got the chance to meet the average American I believe they would change their minds. On a personal level, I have found Americans to be open, warmhearted, and accepting of people (and birds) from distant lands. They really seem to feel that "if you are willing to step up to the plate and give us your best shot, we'll give you a break," and that's why I love it here.
If I could leave you with a couple of pieces of advice, they would be travel, travel, travel. Traveling allows you to meet new people and learn about their fascinating cultures. Also-and trust me, this is important-learn to love football (the sport some people incorrectly call soccer)!
Football is played ALL around the world, watched on TV by billions, played on every type of surface-dirt, sand, astroturf, and highly manicured grass-and it is played with passion. You can go to almost any country in the world and talk to the locals about football, and all sorts of barriers come down! Watching the World Cup in New York City, where people from so many countries had come together to enjoy this festival of football, to cheer and cry together, is a magical event. So here's a big hi to Alon, Angela, Thea, Jeremy, and ALL the guys in the kitchen.
I was in Egypt once, where my mum and I had traveled for her birthday, and the big hotel where we were staying was not showing my team's game. I was very upset, but I decided to turn the lemon life had thrown me into lemonade and take my mum to see the sunset over at the pyramids.
But they were SHUT!
A local taxi driver saw my frustration and offered to take me to his local bar where they were showing the game. I jumped at the opportunity and off we went deep into the heart of Cairo, Nassir and I.
Deep into a huge housing project and into the bar we strolled (no alcohol, of course, as Egypt is a Muslim country, we both ordered mint teas. Not my usual beverage at a footy match, but when in Rome so to speak... Nassir then introduced me to the other people in the bar and said something in Egyptian. The men glared at me, and Nassir said I should be careful of these guys.
I asked him, "Why, do they not like westerners?" I felt a little uneasy. I had just come from a 5-star hotel and was now in the very heart of Cairo, miles from any air-conditioning!
Nassir held my stare and seriously answered, "No, I just told them you are a Chelsea fan and they are ARSENAL supporters!" Everyone in the bar laughed loudly (I am a Chelsea supporter). It was one of the best nights of life, AND Chelsea won J. Big love to all the Blues and even the Gooners (Arsenal supporters!) of Cairo.
The more I travel, the more I understand that we are all humans who need similar things, and when we approach each other with love in our hearts we really can make this world a better place.
As one of my dearest friends (Mr Dermot D) taught me so well, it really is "Good to Be Good and Nice to Be Nice."
And, last but not least, to the big bird high in the sky, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING.