Life Lesson #11 From Camel’s Hump

posted in: Life Lessons 13

 

#11        Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot.

 

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This one came to me early on.

 

Right after I’d decided that every step I took mattered (#13) and what I was doing wasn’t much fun (#12), I discovered that it often didn’t matter where as much as how I set my foot down.

 

While I might choose to place my foot on THIS rock and then THAT one, someone else might well choose a different pattern.  And we’d both make it to the bottom just fine. That felt freeing.

 

How about you? Do you still look for that one absolutely right place to “put your foot?”  How would your life change if you discovered there were no abolutes?

 

 

Did you miss the earlier posts in this series?  If so, it’s not too late.  Here are the links:

#13    When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance

#12      Sometimes, perseverance is more important than having fun. 

13 Responses

  1. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    I tend to be cautious about most things, so I do often look for the absolutely right place to set my foot. I’ve also fallen flat on my face more than once. (I mistyped “foot” at first as “food.” Now I’m laughing because sometimes I’m cautious about that, too, with cats in the house.)

    I don’t know how to answer your question. There are always some absolutes, or we wouldn’t be human, and then I would be someone totally different. 🙂

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril. You’ve raised an interesting side bar — What it means to be human. I’ve long thought that what separates us humans from other two-footed upright mammals (with opposable thumbs) is that we can hold two competing thoughts in our head at one time. Sure, we all have instincts, but somehow we humans get to see the mushy middle of things. So, your idea that were it not for absolutes in your life you’d not feel human was an idea that caught me quite by surprise. I’d love to hear you say more about this. I’m intrigued.

      • Merril Smith
        | Reply

        Hi Janet, I didn’t mean absolutes in my own life, in that I can’t be “mushy middle of things”–believe me–that’s me most of time! I’m definitely the type of person who tends to see the gray areas, and not that everything is black or white.
        I meant ultimate absolutes like death.
        Unless we’re robots, gods, vampires, or some other unknown species, we all die, right? That’s the ultimate absolute. So If I were actually some other type of being, well, then I wouldn’t be me.

        • Janet Givens
          | Reply

          Ah yes, that and taxes, as they say. Thanks for the clarification.

        • Ian Mathie
          | Reply

          It doesn’t all end in a puff of smoke when you die, Merril. African wisdom (which goes back thousands of years) says you become an ancestor. You’re still there and still involved, just in a different dimension. If you made the transition uncleanly, you might end up as a bit of a lost soul, and have to wander around for a while trying to find your proper place, and if all that goes wrong you become a ghost, but then you lose your identity and are terminally lost.
          No there are no absolutes unless you impose them, but you raised an interesting topic.

          • Merril Smith
            |

            Thanks, Ian. Interesting perspective. I’m not certain what I believe, but in any case, if I become an ancestor, ghost, lost soul, or vanish entirely, I’d still be different. In the meantime, I’ll be careful about stepping on any absolutes. I bet those bites are painful! 🙂

  2. Ian Mathie
    | Reply

    I would be very wary about ever stepping on an abolute. They bite!

    Great post. That camel and its hump sure taught you some interesting and worthwhile lessons. I’m enjoying walking along with you.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      They bite! You crack me up, Ian.

      I remember having the idea, as I worked my way down that path, that in my looking for that “one right place,” I’d wasted a lot of time. That then led me remembering other scenarios in which I’d wasted time looking for the absolutely right … It was indeed a delightful descent. Next week, I’ll show a video of a young woman I met along the way (she came from behind and within just a few minutes was long gone)

  3. Susan Joyce
    | Reply

    When we lived in Mexico, I had to constantly watch my every step in order NOT to fall flat on my face. Walking the beaches in Uruguay allows me to walk and think at the same time. A joy! A joy to also know there are no absolutes in life.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Yes indeed, the context does make a big difference, doesn’t it, Susan. So freeing. I’m glad you’re here.

  4. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Ian, that’s fascinating. I’m wondering what the decision-making mechanism is for determing whose passing has been “clean enough” to make it through. And, of course, I’d hope there would be opportunity for appeal. 🙂

    • Ian Mathie
      | Reply

      Unless you have some way of reaching into the spirit world, there can be no appeal, and even there it seems most unlikely. Exactly what the criteria are for a happy transition is probably entirely subjective and open to conjecture as it is those who remain behind that make the judgement of this. They do so on the basis of psychic and spiritual disturbances and, of course, their own prejudices and perceptions of ‘justice’for the departed person.

  5. […] #11    Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot. […]

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