"Words without poetry lack passion; words without passion lack persuasion; words without persuasion lack power."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Changing Lanes

When I began driving I, of course, spent the required hours of practice driving before I recieved my license. One of the tasks I clearly remember struggling with was changing lanes. My dad would always instruct me to check my mirrors, look behind my shoulder, turn on my blinker, and then speed up during my transition to safely change lanes. In my own mind there was such a disconnect. For some reason, the only way I could interpret his guidance was to somehow switch lanes in a formation resembling the letter "L." I thought I had to slide over into the lane and then speed up, and this structure was the only way I could comprehend. Although this recollection sounds silly, and perhaps embarrassing, I believe it is a perfect metaphor for the many choices and transitions I, we, face in life.

When I encounter choices, changes and transitions I'm often only able to picture the situation from my pre-existing or created comprehension of what it will look like. Sometimes I cannot comprehend how these adjustments could look from a different view, or even from the other side. Many times I try and impose my understanding to the elements when sometimes I don't understand from where I am.

One day it just clicked. Afters hours, days, months of practice and licensed driving I acquired the skill of changing lanes, but it wasn't just the skill I assimilated, I gained the perspective of transitioning in a diagonal line rather than an "L." This new perspective was much easier, safer, and made more sense. The struggle was not a question of destination, but rather how to run the course to the end. Sometimes it takes life experience paired with perseverance and other key character traits to grow.

The interesting thing about the whole learning process was my dad right there coaching me. The entire time he outlined step by step instruction, but still, it took time to grasp. The disconnect had little to do with rebellion, for I wanted the ability to perform well, but instead it had much to do with how I processed the given action. After all, I had someone right beside me guiding me.

The solution to my quandary was found in the relentless attempts of applying the instruction I received, the courage and dignity to keep trying, and never running away from my given guidance. The same is true for our lives.     

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew." -Francis de Sales 

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