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September 29, 2010

She dragged me from the doorway of my thermodynamics class and started running for the double doors of the exit of the building. I had to make it to physics lab in 13 minutes. The destination was hardly 13 minutes away, so I walked the same way I usually do–slow pace, enjoying the presence of myself and the world around me (while simultaneously trying to avoid getting hit by bikers).

However, my friend seemed more intent on me getting to my lab early than I was. So she was dragging me away, even walking a few paces ahead of me. Not like her getting there would make me get there any earlier. She eventually gave up and walked alongside me.

So that got me thinking for a bit… and then it hit me. Almost literally. Thankfully not.

I was driving home, as I usually do. There’s an intersection near my house that has one of those “Left turn yield on green” turn signals (a traffic signal that NEEDS dedicated turn signals) and saw a guy approaching the other direction turning left. Since I was already in the intersection, I figured he wouldn’t try to make the turn.

He turned. And so did I. This was a convenient time for my horn to not work. So instead I just took an epic detour onto the other side of the road briefly. After wondering if that guy had his glasses on, I made it back to the right side of the road, and continued my trek home.

So then I thought, “Why’s everyone in such a hurry?”

Even at my slow pace, I made it to my lab with time to spare. And in terms of speeding, if we look at the math, let’s take a destination that’s 30 miles away. 60 miles an hour gets you there in a half hour. 70 miles an hour gets you there in about 26 minutes. Assuming you are able to travel 70 miles an hour consistently the whole time (which is VERY unlikely). You save a maximum of 4 minutes.

Even better. Speed limit’s 65. So if you go 65, it takes about 28 minutes to get to a destination 30 miles away. You save 2 minutes.

If you can give me a circumstance under which arriving two minutes late will end your life, please do. I can only think of a few: if you’re trying to gain credibility with someone and need to arrive on time (like at work or if you made a promise), if you’re trying to catch the bus or train or plane or whatever, or… if you need to save someone’s life. Like your wife who is in labor.

Other than that? Missing 2 minutes of *insert event here* won’t do much. Maybe lines may be longer (I once left home 2 minutes late and traffic was absurd), but that’s unlikely.

So why rush? We all have 24 hours in a day. But we’re always wanting to just get from point A to point B in a split second. We want instant gratification. Why? Why not just stop and smell the roses? Look at the beautiful sunrise/sunset. Notice the orchard you pass by every day with no heed. Appreciate the creations of God, and the man-made sculptures of our forefathers. Have you ever thought about the intricacy of the road system? I thought about it today. Through almost every major town and city, there is a freeway. A building can’t be built on a freeway, so every freeway essentially divides a city into two. And there’s an overpass that usually connects these two parts of the city. And when we realize that we haven’t even been driving for a century, it is sort of amazing how they were able to pave the freeways of America and allow them to get people from one place to another. A person from Seattle, Washington, and a person from Tracy, California, could both use the freeway system to get to Tampa, Florida. Everything connects! You can get to anywhere from anywhere! And all of these roads are almost completely unobtrusive to city life.

I don’t believe in rushing anymore. After I got food poisoning a couple months ago and had to walk slowly because my legs were too weak, I was able to appreciate the little things in life.

Walking slowly sort of just became a habit after that, because I like taking my time with things. As a result of that, when I ran to catch the bus today, I found myself very short of breath and not very happy.

So what’s the point? Ask yourself why you rush. I find myself amazed many times at how many things I overlook. Little things that I never noticed. Then I notice them, and see how intricate they are. For example, roads. As another example, ants. Or spiders (though I’m deathly afraid of those). Tiny little bugs we kill for fun, with an intricacy no man has ever been able to duplicate. Spider silk. Ant tunnels. God put many things in this world. Why not appreciate them, one by one?

To your success,


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