Position and Wealth — Take a Hike

Recently I took a long hike with a friend. We began early in the day and took just enough water and snacks to significantly weigh our packs, yet never fill us — an interesting commentary about trail mix. We passed fellow hikers on switch back after switch back. As the air became thin and the path steep, I doubted it was the road less trodden — but that it was even a road!

Just when I begin to question my friend's path-making abilities and Sunday morning excursions, the top side of a waterfall cascaded into my blurred and dusty vision. My blistered feet collapsed and my pack fell onto lush grass, and untouched, rare, raw beauty. All the cliché's about the best places being the hardest to reach charged into my aching frontal lobe.

Amidst Gatorade and imminent C.P.R.; I reflected on the trail census and fellow hikers along my "proverbial thorny — rutted and awful" path.

One, hiker still sat by the fire drinking hot chocolate. Another two, were still in the Forest Service parking lot arguing over maps. A fourth one, we left at mile one complaining about blisters. Number five appointed himself some sort of trail master and was erecting bench posts on the way.

Some hikers were still at the welcome sign, making — perfect, beautiful marshmallows. One or two only bragged about grade-A — UNUSED, boots.

But my friend and I actually made the hike.

And now we sat, gulping down a million-dollar view.

And somewhere between delirious re-hydrating moments, I thought:

Position and wealth are much like this hike. Some fellow journeyers seem to only take up trail space. Others never get past the parking lot. Some show up only for the hot chocolate.

But a rare few actually use their boots and shore up their laces. They kick the rocks out of their way, and forge ahead to take the hike.

Someone once said "Never underestimate the impact of a small group of volunteers, with little resources and much enthusiasm — for everything that has ever been done, has been done by them." This GLEANER is full of little groups who actually "used the boots." Consider Chandler who grew a $100 for homeless classmates. Consider Todd and Laura who used influence to form a charity baseball game.

Are you JUST SITTING at that cherry desk, or using it to push positive change? Are you "JUST recycling disposable income" or GROWING it for something good? It's like this, you can either shine your boots or you can use them for good.

No, the "high road" isn't for wimps. It's full of rocks. But its "horizons" make you forget all about the blisters.

"Position and wealth are much like this hike. Some fellow journeyers seem to only take up trail space."

January 01, 2010 / Perspective