The story of the hummingbird


The story is about a day in the forest when a huge fire broke out. All the animals fled, except this humming bird, which decided to stay and put out the fire. It flew to the nearest river, picked up a drop of water with its tiny beak, flew back and poured that drop on the fire. It repeated this action over and over again, each time bringing a drop of water. The other animals watched from a distance, laughing and mocking the hummingbird. The harder they laughed, the harder the humming bird worked. It remained committed, persistent and patient. “What do you think you are doing?” the other animals asked, “you are too little for the big fire.”

Without stopping her work, the bird answered, “I’m doing the best I can”. […]

Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s what we are all called to do: Give the best of ourselves. 

This is an extract from a speech by Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate.


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