Step Lively

I was complaining to God today about a type of person that I seem to find myself behind more and more often of late. This would be a person that makes sure they’re at the front of the pack when we’re queueing up but then when the pack is released, instead of rushing forward with the urgency their position implies they sort of saunter forward, ambling along without a care.

For example, my station is approaching when I’m riding the train on my way home from work, I move into the area near the door but the train isn’t too crowded so I leave plenty of space between me and the other riders. Another rider comes up and threads his or her way through the crowd to get right up to the door. The train stops, the door opens, everyone behind this person surges forward anxious to get where they’re going, but the person in front steps cautiously forward, mind you at an angle so that even though the doorway is two people wide, still no one can slip past them. Then they proceed hesitantly forward, always looking like they’re about to move both to the right and the left. If you find it hard to imagine how someone can look like they’re about to go two directions at once, just picture someone looking interestedly to one side while slowly drifting to the other, and then suddenly drifting back in the direction they are looking just as you move to go around them, anticipating how far you need move to clear them by analyzing the speed of their drift, but being drawn up short when the drift changes.

If I seem like I’ve given this too much thought, well, there’s plenty of time to think when you’re stuck behind someone moving at a turtle’s pace. And speaking of turtles, that’s what God brought up in answer to my complaint. She told me that these are people that embraced the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, but who took the wrong lesson from it. instead of learning that the hare threw away his chance to win by his cockiness and that the tortoise won by staying on task, they took to heart the notion that the tortoise won not despite being slow but because of it.

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