Thursday, February 10, 2022
When we are wobbly toddlers seeking stability, we get and keep rushing headlong into things, but then we slow down and get cautious. I perceive our collective consensus implies life is safer that way but does that make it better? Is risk-free safer? Do we learn more from the stumble or from planning to avoid the pratfall?
Walking in the dark is sometimes treacherous – no matter how bare and dry the sidewalks get in mild weather, that icy junk at driveways, laneways and street crossings commands careful attention and nimble feet. Otherwise, a slip and fall ensue.
And sometimes, a fall cannot be avoided. For this reason, I bought lights to guide me in the dark in the park, but the other day I was walking in the dark under intense street lights, so visibility wasn’t the issue. Overconfidence was, and I went down. Not hard, no injury, but genuflecting in the air.
The knee and elbow that made first contact are daily reminders to avoid icy spots, poorly lit places and over-confidence.
This is no small metaphor for so many other things in life where confidence is required for success and survival, and over-confidence can produce disastrous results. We walk until we stumble, we run until we collapse – these are things we know, but we still walk, and we still run. We rarely stumble, and even more rarely do we collapse.
I think we should run more. We should be speeding up rather than slowing down – there has been too much pausing, too much caution and too much fear/avoidance lately. I don’t think it’s pandemic-caused as much as it is pandemic-revealed.