When we have Expectations,
we rely on others.
When we have Convictions,
we rely upon ourselves.
When we have Hopes,
we rely upon our Dreams.
A small Hawk saw a Duckling and decided to have some fun. He swooped down, claws outstretched, and wounded the small creature. The Duckling was terrified. When he saw the Hawk readying himself for another attack, the Duckling hastened to the pond and ducked under water, submerging himself long enough to thwart the next assault.
The Mallard, his papa, came upon the scene. He lifted into the air and made short work of the Hawk who flapped away from the ferocious Mallard nursing his wounds.
The Mallard beckoned the Duckling out of the pond. "Why didnt you come to me immediately?" he asked.
The Duckling rubbed his webbed toe in the mud. "I was scared, papa. But I wanted to figure out myself how to stop him, cuz I can't expect you always to be there."
"Courage is confronting one's fears. The greatest Courage is holding to our Convictions and Dreams."
The Mallard looked at his son a long time. "That took Courage, son. And not just a blind act of Courage. The Courage of your convictions is far more difficult."
The Duckling felt very proud. And the Mallard added, "There is no one in the world you can truly depend upon other than yourself. You will have to solve your own problems, and when you know that, you will have the confidence to survive anything."
And with that, the Mallard took flight while his son looked up at his handsome papa. He knew his papa was right, and as he watched the Mallard's graceful soaring, the Duckling dreamed of the time when he, too, would be as strong and as beautiful and as wise as his papa.