You get a different life


Photo courtesy amish.patel at Flickr

Photo courtesy amish.patel at Flickr

I recently ran my eye over this comment: “Neil Postman has an analogy along the lines of what you’re saying about giving forethought to your use of a new technology: ‘When you put a drop of red dye into a glass of water, you do not get a glass of water with a drop of red dye in it; you get a red glass of water…’”

Nowadays, we’re disposed to leap on anything “new” like a jaguar on a capybara.  Why do we do this?  Why do we glom onto the latest thing without considering the consequences to our lives?  All of us are trying to employ some command over our lives and we do this by making what we believe are wise decisions.  Yet the truth is that we are swamped with tidal waves of options, more than we can manage.  It seems to me that what’s missing from our multitasking, do-it-yesterday world is contemplative time spent in full deliberation of the what, where, when, why, and how of the choices we will be making.

So it is with the decision to hike the Appalachian Trail.  So ask yourself —

What do I expect might be the outcome of my trip?

What time – what season – of my life should I choose to attempt the hike?

Where should I begin?  (Hiking from Maine to Georgia is definitely a different journey than hiking from Georgia to Maine.)

Why should I make this hike?  (Is having the time and money a valid reason to walk over 2100 miles?)

How might I be a different person after the journey ends?  What will I set my sights on next in my life?

While the final outcome of the trip cannot ever be completely foreseen, one thing is certain – a different person will step from the trail than the one who began it.

Which bring me back to the quote above:

“When you put a drop of red dye into a glass of water, you do not get a glass of water with a drop of red dye in it; you get a red glass of water.”

Likewise, when you introduce a new experience into your life (like hiking the Appalachian Trail), you do not get your life plus that experience, you get a different life.

Think before you drop that dye in.

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Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Decision making, Life changes, The Appalachian Trail, Timothy J. Hodges

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