The Song of the Birds

Value what you have

The owner of a small business,
a friend of the poet Olavo Bilac, met him on the street and asked,

“Mr. Bilac, I need to sell my small farm the one you know so well.
Could you please write an announcement for me for the paper?”

Bilac wrote:
"For sale: a beautiful property, where birds sing at dawn in extensive woodland, 
bi-sected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream.
The house is bathed by the rising sun.
It offers tranquil shade in the evenings on the veranda."

Some time later, the poet met his friend and asked whether he had sold the property
to which he replied:

“I’ve changed my mind.
When I read what you had written, I realized the treasure that was mine.”


Sometimes we underestimate the good things we have,
chasing after the mirages of false treasures.

Look around and appreciate what you have:
your home, your loved ones, friends on whom you can really count, 
the knowledge you have gained, your good health.
And all the beautiful things of life,
that are truly your most precious treasure.

Ask of God at every moment that our problems and concerns
never degenerate into feelings of sadness and anxiety.

Be in union with God,
who will provide the courage needed 
for victory in the struggle;
because God gives with abundance what we need.

Olavo Bilac