Dr James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey

The scholar Dr Dr James Emman Kwegyir  Aggrey's ambition for Africa led to his famous saying, although out of frustration " Only the best is good enough for Africa"– which he  demonstrated in the following story he narrated: Sources:http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/21.html
"A certain man went through a forest seeking any bird he might find.  He caught a young bird, brought it home, put it among his fowls and ducks and turkeys, and gave it chicken's food to eat.  Five years later, a naturalist came to visit the man, and noticed  the bird.  He said to the owner: 'Look here, this is an eagle, not a chicken'.  'Yes, you may be right,' said the man, 'but I have trained it to be a chicken.  It is no longer an eagle, it is a chicken, even though it is enormous.'
'No', said the visitor, 'it is still an eagle; it has the heart of an eagle, and I shall make it soar high to the heavens'.  'No,' said its owner, 'it is now a chicken, and it will never fly'.
"They agreed to test it.  The naturalist picked up the bird, held it up, and said loudly: 'Eagle, thou art an eagle; thou dost belong to the sky and not down here.  Stretch forth thy wings and fly', and with that he hurled the bird up.  The eagle turned this way and that, and then looking down, saw the chickens eating, and came to join them.

"The owner said: 'I told you it is now a chicken'.  'No' said the man, 'this bird is an eagle.  I shall come back to prove this to you.  The exercise was repeated three times, with the same result.  The bird always came back to feed with the chickens.

"The naturalist came back again, chose a hill, and held the bird aloft, pointing it to the rising sun, and shouted: 'Eagle, thou art an eagle; thou dost not belong down here.  Thou dost belong to the sky; stretch forth thy wings and fly.'  The eagle looked round, tembled as if new life was filling it, and suddenly it stretched out its wings, and with the screech of an eagle, it mounted higher, and higher, and never returned.  It was really an eagle, though it had been kept and tamed like a chicken!
"My people of Africa,"  Aggrey continued, "we were created in the image of God, but men have made us think that we are chickens, and we still think we are, but we are eagles.  Stretch forth your wings and fly!  Don't  be content with the food of chickens."


It’s a great shame we don’t pay attention to our thoughts, as what we are thinking fundamentally affects the world around us. It’s true that you are what you think. This is not just about having a glass half empty or half full outlook. The very nature and quality of our thoughts provides the key difference between living a charmed existence or continually finding ourselves pushing water uphill.

“Good begets good; evil begets evil; and even if the good you give is met by evil, you have no choice but to go on giving better than you get. Otherwise-and these were Willy's exact words-why bother to go on living?”

Paul Auster, Timbuktu