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April 27, 2006

To take the tube or to walk?

In London, as in life, there are at least two ways of getting anywhere. Either you concentrate on the destination and getting there as quickly and efficiently as possible. Or you can give yourself up to enjoying the journey.

The London Underground is clearly designed for the former attitude by transporting you to your destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is fairly easy to use, you follow a procedural predescribed route devised from an abstract representation, and although the map has little relation to physical locations, still, it enables you to get to the destination. After a few journeys, there is little to enjoy about the journey itself, it is simply a means of getting where you want to go. It is not pleasant going underground on dark, dingy, fume–filled trains. How difficult it is to observe smiling faces on the tube. But people do it everyday in order to get to that destination, where they will start another journey.

There is another way to get around London. It is not as quick and efficient, but it is more healthy, for both body and mind. You can walk. Instead of following the procedural "tube" method for getting to your destination, you just head in the right direction. You will see and experience each place that you pass through. Each place will be different, unlike the stations that you pass on the tube. There is more to be experienced by walking. Each and every journey will be different. You will learn about the places that you pass through, you may even discover things that you did not know existed. You might not get to your destination as quickly, but what does it really matter, for you will probably go somewhere else after that anyway. At least you have enjoyed the journey.

And so it is with life. You can rush to achieve a goal as quickly as possible, and potentially miss many places on the way. Or you can head off in the right direction and let your experience guide you from place to place. Slowly, but surely, you will make your way towards a greater goal: discovering that life is all about the journey.


Quote of the day Go to 'Today's Quote'

Orson Scott Card
"Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space."

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