Thursday, June 11, 2015

A turtle's role in building a beautiful life

A few weeks ago, I saw a beautiful thing.

I was heading east on one of the main arteries of our town when I saw a turtle making its treacherous journey across traffic. I was relieved as every passerby swerved around the little guy in attempts not to crush him. It was human kindness in action...

...but then I saw a different, more fulfilling, more beautiful type of kindness at play. A black truck with those ridiculously sized wheels approached and merged into the center lane as the emergency flashers began to blink. A big burly man in a cut-off tee and converse shoes jumps out, darts across the street, picks up the fierce, yet slow traveler, and delivers him to safety. My heart cheered as my jaw dropped and I literally exclaimed, "He has to be a dad!"

I didn't pass too many blocks ahead before I began questioning my own assumptions about the turtle hero. Maybe he was a dad, but maybe he wasn't. Maybe he was just a turtle lover, or an animal rights activists, or a religious man who places a high value on all life. Or, maybe he was just an average, ordinary guy who chooses to live a beautiful life, and live it well. I'd like to think of him as the later.

I'd venture to imagine that this man isn't too caught up in the grand scheme of life that he often ignores the glorious details. I might even guess he isn't driven by a harsh schedule or the demands of his dashboard clock. He probably isn't enslaved by the opinions or perceptions of others, and he probably embodies the qualities of a valiant warrior.

Yes, sure, I'll admit, I'm praising a man I've never met. He could be the dirtiest, most self-absorbed and disillusioning person in town, but he had to be motivated by some intrinsic driving force, and I wouldn't instantly suspect foul play or selfishness as the driver.

The whole scenario stayed with me longer than most day-to-day happenings, and honestly, it has motivated me to continue my quest in building a beautiful life. I've previously shared similar thoughts and inspirations, and as I reread them today, I'm reminded that life isn't something to be conquered in a day. An extraordinary life isn't built overnight, but rather slowly, one choice at a time. How hopeful!

I don't always choose well, but as long as I continue to breathe, I am simultaneously afforded the opportunity to choose better. The same is true for you. Extend some grace towards yourself, and run like wild towards a happy life. It's out there, and it's yours for the taking.


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