Just before the ’17 winter solstice, I had set forth on one of my early a.m. power walks, which upon arrival at my favorite park, typically transitions into a more contemplative, leisurely stroll.
On this particular occasion, it soon became evident that while we homeowners do a good job clearing snow from the public walkways we’re responsible for, the DPW does not always shovel those they’re required to maintain.
Judging from the neglected, snow-covered condition of that park’s asphalt paths, I presumed that some austerity program adopted by our city fathers had either furloughed some of their snow removal crews or had assigned them to less frequent work-shifts.
Looking glumly at the sorry state of affairs, I soon found myself wishing I had worn my boots instead of athletic footwear. My options were now limited to two. Either walk gingerly to prevent snow from collecting inside my shoes or do an about face and head for home. Since I normally slow my pace in this setting, anyway, I figured I’d be OK with cautiously staying the course.
As I soldiered onward, all the sudden, I spotted a trail of fresh footprints, ahead. My lucky day! Executing a slight course change and matching the previous park visitor’s stride, I had found that third option. In other words, my following in the footsteps of an anonymous, out of sight trailblazer had saved the day.
It was afterwards, on the return home leg of my fitness walk that I sensed something much deeper than those actual footprints in the snow. True, my observations are hardly anything unique and groundbreaking. But, upon factoring in how, our increasingly “What’s in it for me, Me, ME” driven society needs an attitude readjustment in that regard, my following “deep” thoughts are worthy of mention. Let’s refer to them as…
A Refreshing Refresher Course
- In humankind’s walk through life, we are following in the tried and true footsteps of others who came before us. It’s that intergenerational continuity from where we learn what worked for our forebearers and what didn’t. In other words, if we watch where we are / where they were going, they’ll save us from repeating their mistakes… and, if nothing else… that’s a great time saver.
- It’s our slowing down, thinking on our feet and… when appropriate… accepting someone else’s fresh, course of action (e.g. our following those footprints) that can work wonders whenever we’re trying to work through some unanticipated, problematic situation.
- More importantly, regardless of our “shoe size” / our station in life, at any given moment anyone with a good idea has equal footing.
- We humans are helping one another even when we don’t realize it. And that says much about each individual’s importance. Of course, this doesn’t even take into account how much better life can get when we do consciously cooperate / work well with each other. Words such as “offering a helping hand” and “walking hand in hand” do come to mind… that latter phrase possibly even adding the dimension of love into the equation of life.
- Seeing how the person who had walked in the snow before I had, wore a smaller shoe size, as I enlarged that original trail of footprints, I may’ve even made life easier for the next person to follow in my footsteps. And maybe, someday, some newly arriving person (with even bigger feet) will do the same!
- It’s safe to say that the spirit of human kindness and cooperation can have a snowballing effect…and that improves the quality of everyone’s life.
In spite of how those footprints in the snow had helped me, I do know they best serve us as a metaphor. Were that not the case, with the arrival of the warmer months everything would soon melt away and we’d lose our way. We’d then have to depend on the next snowfall to regain our bearings (and with global warming snow days could become rare).
That means we must take great care to heed the wisdom of our past and present, actual, venerated trailblazers… many of them brilliant scientists, who are ignorantly ridiculed by the present DC regime. After all, it takes trailblazers to hurdle political speed-bumps and roadblocks… to help us stay the correct course upon humanity’s path to survival.