One of the benefits of owning a 64 pound, almost 3-yearold boxer, is she helps keep me healthy. My dog, Zoey, and I walk at least two miles early every morning. We both enjoy the outing and each day our walk is different. It might be the people we encounter along the way, or having the chance to enjoy a Tallahassee sunrise. I am always encouraged by the number of people out walking, running, and biking before 7 o’clock in the morning!
One young mother walks every morning. She pushes a stroller with a two or three-year old little boy in tow, while walking a young dog on a leash, generally talking with someone on the phone. I’ve been a young mother and I know multi-tasking is necessary to get through the day, but this morning as I walked a short distance behind her, I saw it as a walk of missed opportunities.
Mom didn’t notice the family of rabbits breakfasting on a neighbor’s lawn so couldn’t share the sight with her son. While on the phone, she missed the roses blooming near the sidewalk that Zoey and I stopped to smell. She didn’t slow to show him the sunburst colored toadstools that had just popped up overnight. She was so focused on her destination she missed the wonder of the journey. We walked the same path, but saw totally different views. We make choices day-in-day-out, too often failing to see our journeys are really about choosing a mindset. A more rewarding life is all about making the choice to be an active participant in the journey… not just considering what is all around you, but being aware of, and nurturing concern for, so much that’s missing. Choosing is realizing that life isn’t a race to the finish line. It’s making a commitment to avoid isolating ourselves from one another along the way. It is about inclusion. It is recognizing beautiful and terrible things will happen, and looking for ways we can work together so fewer people will miss the “up” times and more people will be able to get through the “down” times. It is recognizing disparities and looking for ways we can work together to make a difference.
Every journey begins with a step forward. Don’t be afraid to speak out and take that step. Don’t let yours be a journey of missed opportunities —
Karen Goodlett SPHR