The classic tale of the tortoise and the hare reminds us that different people take life at different speeds and that one way is not necessarily superior to another. In fact, in the story the slower animal ends up arriving at the destination first. In the same way, some of us seem to move very quickly through the issues and obstacles we all face in our lives while others need long periods of time to process their feelings and move into new states of awareness. For those of us who perceive ourselves as moving quickly, it can be painful and exasperating to deal with someone else’s slower pace. Yet, just like the tortoise and the hare, we all end up arriving at the same destination eventually.
People who take their time with things are probably in the minority in most of the world today. We live in a time when speed and productivity are valued above almost anything else. Therefore, people who flow at a slower pace are out of sync with the world and are often pestered and prodded to go faster and do more. This can be not only frustrating but also counterproductive because the stress of being pushed to move faster than one is able to move actually slows progress. On the other hand, if a person’s style is honored and supported, they will find their way in their own time and, just like the tortoise, they might just beat the speedier, more easily distracted person to the finish line.
It’s important to remember that we are not actually in a race to get somewhere ahead of someone else, and it is difficult to judge by appearances whether one person has made more progress than another. Whether you count yourself among the fast movers or as one of the slower folks, we can all benefit from respecting the pace that those around us choose for themselves. This way, we can keep our eyes on our own journey, knowing that we will all end up together in the end.
~ Adapted from a DailyOm article, from December 27, 2007
Every day I receive this kind of inspirational article from DailyOm. This one in particular spoke to me today. And while it’s an interesting article, they don’t mention anything about people who alternate between being tortoises and hares, as I have. Those individuals must be particularly rare. I definitely know what category I’m in right now. What about you?
Illustration from Project Gutenberg