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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Speed Bumps And Hurdles


There is this one speed bump I used to miss every time I drove my daughter to and from college.  I swear it blends in and it is only after the jolt of going over it and landing that I realized it was there.  And, each time after the jolt I get “the look” from my wife.  So, I resolve to make sure I remember it the next time.  I have gotten better.  There are other speed bumps that I know are here or there and I purposefully go slower and take my time.  It takes time, but the ride ends up being jolt free.

Hurdles, on the other hand, take a lot more skill to deal with.  I’m rather short and I never, ever was a track guy, but I admire those whose event was hurdles.  They move so quickly, so gracefully.  And, at full speed!  They lean in, hunch down and seemingly without effort, fly over each one, only to continue the sprint to the finish line.  Even those who don’t manage to go over cleanly regain their stride and hit the next one and continue on as if nothing happened.  There is a certain artistry and grace involved, certainly confidence and coordination.  And, unlike speed bumps, hurdles are best taken at full stride and full speed.  If you break stride, well, you could end up wrapped around the hurdle rather uncomfortably.

Speed Bumps and Hurdles.

Two different obstacles, used for two different purposes.  Both deliberate and placed with design.

One, the Speed Bump, forces us to slow down, take our time, proceed with caution.  It is used for safety.  The other, Hurdles, are best taken at full speed without slowing down or breaking stride.  If we go too quickly over Speed Bumps, or if we go too slowly over Hurdles, we have unintended and unfortunate consequences.  Possibly painful ones.

There are times for moving slowly through life.  Taking our time.  Taking stock in our surroundings.  Surveying what is around us.  Being aware of what lies ahead.  There are times when we push on ahead at full speed.   Moving quickly without breaking stride.  Not knowing when to do what has consequences that are not necessarily beneficial to us, and perhaps, not beneficial to those around us. 

It’s best to learn before we set out on our journey . . . in life . . . where the Speed Bumps are and what Hurdles might be in our path.  Children, loved ones, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a beautiful work of art or piece of music, a fine dinner: Speed Bumps.  Slow down, take your time and enjoy.  The report that’s due, the visit to the doctor’s office, paying the bills: Hurdles.  Get to them and over quickly.  Don’t even bother slowing down.  Get them over with and move on to the finish line.

The ability to distinguish one from the other, important, I think.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe