If you’ve ever spent time watching people, surely you’ve been struck at some point by the frenetic pace of the human race. Yes, race as in species, but also race as in a contest to see who can get there faster – wherever “there” is. It makes me think of the dogs at the track with their blinders on, chasing the rabbit with all of their considerable strength, speed and endurance. But alas, they never catch the elusive prey and the really sad part is that the “rabbit” isn’t even real. It is merely an artifact of the game, a simple trickery. The rabbit is a necessary deceit to entice the dogs to run their lives away for a useless and unachievable prize. Wow. What a powerful metaphor.
The question is, then, are we doing the same? The dogs are born and bred and trained to run. So you might ask whether they would ever consider not running, that there exists another option? We are all born into specific contexts in which we are shaped and molded to think certain thoughts, hold certain beliefs, desire certain outcomes in life. Our native context colors our world, either small and limiting or vast and expansive. It can narrow our mind from wide-eyed innocence to a set of very particular expectations about ourselves and others. There is no doubt that it is a massively powerful context and we all see this operate in the lives of people who, like the dogs at the track, have never considered that their life could be…different or better or more. But we are not mere animals who are limited by context and training. We are humans with amazing resilience, flexibility and plasticity in our ability to adapt to new circumstances, engage life-altering faith in the complete absence of evidence and press toward new heights and new goals with unalterable determination.
If we try.
So, we have to ask the question – what race are we running? How can we be sure that we are on the right track? How many of us find we unwittingly doing only what we were programmed to do, to believe and to say based on the context of our birth, genetics, family or social arena, a context which we did not choose? How many of us wake up each day feeling numb and detached, feeling that our lives have become a mechanical march toward death because our hope, our passion for living has become so hopelessly mired in the holy grail of simply surviving to pay the bills? Or perhaps we keep squandering our hard-earned paycheck on another new gadget, pricy trip or fashion statement in an all-too familiar attempt to pump life back into this flat-lined existence?
Like chasing the fake rabbit, we must not only stop chasing a hand-me-down existence but also the false hope that someone else will swoop in and rescue us or define our lives as meaningful by their accolades. While other people can add tremendous value, offer inspiration or proffer incredible support, reaching our destiny is a solo internal mission because it originates from within. The time has indeed come and the day is now. Let us dare to remove the blinders and consider the possibility of not running an empty race. Let us imagine, just image, forging a brand new path in the wild frontier of near limitless possibilities.
Because we can.
If we try.