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There was a squirrel crossing the street today. As he went along his way to where he was trying to go he decided to stop. Something scared him and instead of hurrying to where he wanted to be, he turned back and tried to run back to where he had come from.

Scott Schutte by David Bickley Photography

Had he kept going he would have been completely fine. The second he chose to turn back he was hit by a truck.

I know that’s a sad thing and you might wish I had kept it to myself, but there’s a reason I chose to tell you.

It got me thinking. So many of us (obviously myself included) start walking in the direction we are supposed to be going until something makes us pause and reconsider. Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s doubt but we all do it. We know we want to be on the other side of the street but we stop in the middle and turn around, not even thinking that if we just had the courage to keep going we would be fine. I watch myself do this just as I watch most everyone around me do the same. We all end up like the squirrel. It never fails.

Why is it that the certainty of pain is so much more compelling than the possibility of happiness?

The truly ridiculous part of this is that if we do retreat un-smashed we congratulate ourselves on narrowly escaping where we truly wanted to end up. Then, some time passes and we remember that we are exactly where we tried to leave from before.

We try to cross again, we retreat again.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Shouldn’t we be smarter than the squirrel?

See you tomorrow,