William Golding in his “lessons In Life” piece says “Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey, he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing and I think of any society of living things.”
So what is it about the human race that we are all so incredibly unique and yet exactly the same? I guess if I knew the answer to that I would know the secrets of the Universe. What I do know though is that we all have to go through it all in the same way. There are no short cuts. We all start somewhere and we all end up somewhere else and in between those two points we have to move forward and grow as individuals. Sure there are times that we seem to go around in circles and sometimes we even travel backwards for a time, but essentially we are moving all the time.
Some of us move faster than others, some seem to whizz by with little effort, some seem to drag themselves about, some are relatively baggage free and some seem to be weighed down in the extreme, but what we do is move, searching, in every direction that we choose to take ourselves, for the meaning of life, for our life’s purpose, for whatever it is that we hunger for that always seems to be just out of reach.
The more we think we know, the less we actually know and the harder we look for it. I am constantly reminded of my own limitations when I celebrate something that I have just learnt only to discover that putting it into practice still needs to be accomplished. Just when I think I have it sorted the ‘lack of’ my knowledge pushes me ever onwards and upwards.
Sometimes I despair at the constant ‘striving’ to get there – it often reminds me of a journey I once took from Port Elizabeth to Durban. The road curved left and right at almost impossible angles and it felt like it was climbing ever upwards and as I was getting to the crest of one hill and I thought that it would not get any higher, I would reach the top only to discover that there was yet another hill, a little higher than the one that I had just climbed, ahead of me. Sure the view was nothing short of spectacular, but the terrain was hard, unyielding and unforgiving. I could not imagine how people lived there, yet everywhere typical little African huts dotted the country side. Children looked after herds of cattle and sheep and chickens and donkeys walked in the road. I remember feeling as though I was literally at the top of the world, yet at some point the road, still twisting and turning sloped ever downwards and with it the feeling of me returning to normalcy (whatever that may mean for me).
I also know that no matter if we are moving forward or round and round or backwards or up or down, that we move by the choices that we make or even don’t make. I know that we can control the speed with which we move and the direction that we move by the acceptance of the lessons that we learn. By embracing what we learn and by trusting ourselves and believing in ourselves and ‘what is’ we come to the realization of our dreams.
I know that in order for us to be the master of our own destiny we have to keep moving. I know that in order for us to attain and achieve our goals we have to keep moving. I know that the minute we stop moving we will literally cease to exist.