Ralph Waldo Emerson became one of America's best known and best loved 19th century figures. He left his original profession as a Unitarian minister to pursue a career in writing and public speaking. "Life is a journey, not a destination," he once said. I have said this to my kids, hundreds of times as they grew up. I believe it more and more myself.
The Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step,” suggests that our life’s journey starts with taking those steps required to get closer to those ultimate achievements we hope can obtain. Effort, determination and perseverance will get you where you want to go. However, as we get older, we realize upon reflection that the greatest happiness is not about achieving those goals at all. It’s more about the joy we encounter along the way. Only later in life do you start to realize and appreciate it. We are so impatient when we are young and ambitious.
Robert M. Pirsig wrote in his acclaimed 1974 novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - “You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been a pattern seems to emerge.”
The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade is something I look forward to each year. I have been fortunate enough to be among the crowd several times when I lived and worked in NYC metropolitan area. I am now living in the Midwest but this year I hope to see it up close and live once again. It makes me smile. I know it’s just a parade but it is so full of celebration and optimism. There just is nothing like being there.
I know, as I watch the Balloon handlers, bands and characters passing by I’ll be reminded of the sensational feeling so many things that have happened over the course of my lifetime. If you’ve seen the parade, you know what I mean. It’s a spectacle and a thrill to behold.
Live life to the fullest and enjoy the parade as it passes. Time marches on.