At the airport I almost always take the old-fashioned route to the gate. In other words, I walk under my own power rather than hopping on the moving walkway. Part of the reason is admittedly to get a bit more exercise, but it also scratches my itch to exercise my own free will.
It is so easy to fall in line with the crowd, to allow someone, or in this case, something, to dictate how to get from here to there. To take the expected route. To let the majority rule on how we do what. To allow group think to crowd out our own good thoughts.
Three of our daughters were married over the course of four years, and if ever there was a temptation to jump on to a moving walkway, that was it. Thankfully, we didn’t. Once we were done celebrating the news of each engagement, we engaged in a conversation about how to go about planning the wedding. Our way. We actually talked about how we are the kind of family that walks to the airline gate rather than jumping on the walkway. While both end up at the same destination, the trip from here to there makes all the difference.
The weddings were spectacular, each in their own way, just like our daughters, and getting there was like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Weddings are but one example of the moving walkways that tempt us to jump on and take someone else’s ride. Does everyone need to go to college? Is choosing a life without children really less fulfilling or meaningful? Does your baby need to meet each milestone at the right time in order to be on the right developmental tract? Does patriotism have to mean standing for the anthem? If you don’t buy a house are you destined to miss the American Dream?
The next time we are tempted to step onto the moving walkway, let’s consider what we might miss by not making our own way there.
Photo: NicoElNino, Shutterstock