If upon your travels you come to a difficult place on the path, a place with hidden swampy areas that are difficult to pass or a place with treacherous rocky outcrops and thorny brambles, please do put down a wooden board when walking. Use the wooden boards already put there by others to help make your traveling easier, and then add a helpful board of your own as you are going along.
|Helpful additions to the path.|
You could just travel light without any helpful boards to put down at all. You could rely on the kindness and foresight and decency of others who have already placed boards down before your arrival. You could sail through on the generosity and kindness of previous travelers, and in fact, many people do just that. Some don’t even realize that the boards were placed there specifically to help them, if they see the boards at all, that is. They can be forgiven. Others see the boards and know exactly what they are for and that previous travelers offered them to be helpful, and still they do not place a helpful board of their own down for others. “It’s not my problem,” they tell themselves. “I didn’t ask for any help, and it’s not my fault that it was offered.”
It’s the latter type of traveler that tries the souls of others, and I’m afraid the woods are thick with them. His insensitive selfishness and narcissism add to the treacherousness of the path. The wooden boards can only last so long until the swampy region consumes them, and so fresh boards are always needed. Because there are not as many travelers who place boards as there are who take advantage of them, the path can often be washed out and difficult to navigate.
But rather than focus on the takers, remember that there are always givers. There are always helpers on the path. These are the people who often encounter neglect from previous selfish users of the path, and they don’t want to subject others to what they have had to endure themselves. They decide that if they can help, they will help. So they kindly place a board and sometimes a little sign with an arrow that points the way. “This way, my friend. Let me help you.”
And so, if upon your travels you come to a difficult place on the path, a place with hidden swampy areas that are difficult to pass or a place with treacherous rocky outcrops and thorny brambles, please do put down a wooden board when navigating the path. Remember those who offered help to you even though you didn’t know them. Remember, too, those who offered no help at all. Then decide what kind of traveler you want to be.