26. How to win a handrail race

Benny was not unaware that he could have been accused of doing more than his share of mulling over a lot of things — and by some standards, too many things. But that’s also likely to be the impression I’m giving through sharing all this information with you, because on the outside there was the very usual and general sort of living going on, just the casual everyday things that happen to all people.

In here it was obvious that some long-view ruminations were bubbling away, and Benny was aware of it and knew he was doing this, but also that while he may have focused on some other person’s shortcomings, he shouldn’t really because he had some of his own. And yet the reason for the mis-focus is an understandable one, and issued from the same control panel that housed his mulling switch.

Benny felt, without really putting the feeling into words, that since he had been through so much internal change himself, and had worked through a lot of issues in his own way, it sometimes seemed fair to assume that others may have similar results or made at least some kind of progress, drawn some kinds of conclusions. But this feeling also simultaneously revealed, and this also seemed obvious when he realised his un-verbalised expectations, that this is generally never the case. Necessarily, peoples’ ‘schedules’ are their own, and most of the time do not align compared to his own, or to anyone’s. Given this fact, it seemed useless to ponder others and their achievements or otherwise. If anything, it could be an off-putting distraction.

A memory surfaced that could be used to illustrate the sort of dynamics of this, were Benny a bit more engaged with these musings, which he wasn’t today. Seemingly out of nowhere (yeah right) he remembered two kids mucking about at a surf beach one day who were having a competition of sorts, walking balanced on the square wooden handrails of a length of steps that went from a carpark down the sand-hilled foreshore to the beach, and seeing who could a/ stay on their rail and b/ get there first. Benny remembered that at about the halfway point, one kid, who happened to be in front at that stage, looked around at his competitor to see what he was up to. Checking out the other kid just made him lose his balance and he fell off (but wasn’t hurt). The rival stayed focused and kept going, concentrating all the way, and made it to the end. The obvious point was not to worry about what anyone else was doing but just get on with your own balancing act.

< Chapter 25 Chapter 27 >

Chapter index and link to slogans