Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Straight and Narrow

Yesterday, I ran on the small onboard track and wrote about going round and round.  Today, my inspiration for the title also comes from my run, and readers can probably guess where I ran—on the treadmill.

The treadmills in the cruise ship gym are Life Fitness.  They should a picture of a track making it look like you are going round and round, but there is definitely not the feeling—or the differential pressure on the legs/hips that comes from running around in a circle.  The treadmill can provide an up and down experience, but today’s desire was to simulate a flat track anyway.  So, what can I say other than—I planned to and succeeded in running the straight and narrow.

When I think about the rest of my life, I struggle with what straight and narrow means.  Some may think that religion usually implies something relatively straight and narrow for a person’s life. Ten Commandment.  Eight Beatitudes.  And yet, it is not really, despite many people’s impressions. Within most sets of religious beliefs there is plenty of room for creativity.  And there is room for free choice.  Room to fail.  Room for making mistakes.  Room to grow from correcting our errors.  Even in Christianity while there are the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the eight Beatitudes in the New Testament, Jesus ultimately said, “Love God and love your neighbor.”  Simple and direct  with lots of room for finding interesting, novel, and useful ways to show that love for our neighbors and to help everyone live up to the potential of the gifts they have been given. 

My career path has never been straight and narrow and yet I have been relatively successful so far.

My kids lives (as a result of my parenting or not) have not been straight and narrow, although the oldest is certainly focused.

So, I use straight and narrow as a guide for individual projects and individual goals.  I set a goal of getting to full professor and reached it.  I set a goal of qualifying to apply for the Boston Marathon and reached it.  For individual projects I set goals and usually (although not always) reach them.  All that is good.

But I tend not to use straight and narrow for other things.  So many projects.  So many ideas.  So many things I’ve dabbled with. 

Will I ever live completely straight and narrow—probably not, but it is a great way to guide at least a part of my life.  

No comments:

Post a Comment