"I don't want to come to the end of my life
and find that I have just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width as well."
Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? How the hare laughed at the tortoise, who he said was too slow. How he bragged and bragged about how fast he could run....yep, that one.
Remember what a joke he thought the tortoise was for even challenging him to a race? And that the hare ran so fast that he left the tortoise behind, and how after half the race was over he got so confident that he stopped to play in the meadow and then took a nap?
Well, I think there is more to the moral of this story than "slow and steady wins the race."
Because, I don't believe life IS a race.
We live in a world so full of technology that we fool ourselves into thinking we can accomplish more than we do. It's simply an illusion.
We live in a world where "fast and furious" is prized. Where people live only for the next big "thing" that will make them happy. The next vacation, or car, or when they are debt free. For the next job promotion, or when they lose weight. We are an "if" and "when" society. If and when I do these things, and accomplish this or that, then I will be happy kind of society. The kind of society that thinks the more that's on the schedule, the faster you will get to your destination.
But life isn't really about the destination, it's about the journey . . . it's about all the moments we touch from here to there. There is no medal to be found in getting to the finish line first, and no points for big meadows (of course the meadow is a metaphor, because meadows are quite lovely). And just like the hare, when we go too fast we become delusional about our time, how much we have and what our goals really are. And, when we have completely exhausted ourselves by going so fast, we may even find ourselves fast asleep in between.
We buy into that thought that life is lived at the next pit stop. But life commences here, and now, taking advantage of all that surrounds us as we plod on ever so slowly.
When we go slow enough, we don't necessarily have to stop. We can take in the view, and reach out and touch everything. We can see things because the road isn't moving so fast.
And then we can say,
"I owned ever second that this world could give . . . " - One Republic
It's a choice to spend an afternoon, one slow step after the other. It's also a choice not to.
Trying to be the tortoise,