After an amazing storm I was on my way to see a client trying to find shortcuts along the way to arrive on time.
I decided to go through a park I have never visited before but, it was on the way to my client’s office. I was walking very fast and suddenly, after a curve, I found myself in front of a huge puddle.
At first I thought trying to jump over it or, slowly walk through it, but the image of a video of a car sinking in an apparently innocent puddle came to my mind. This video showed a car crossing a seemingly inoffensive puddle in a street of a big city, but it seems it was covering a huge “gap”, the car unknowingly kept advancing and suddenly disappeared into the “puddle”.
The video did not show whether the driver was able to come out alive from there, but the image remained very clear in my mind.
Nothing in the topology of that park could give me a hint about the “depth”, but when I was standing in front of that miniature pond, the image of the car sinking made me stop right away. Something inside me told me it was safe to walk through this site with caution so I wouldn’t spoil my shoes, but the image of me disappearing like that car made me think twice before continuing my trip.
Then I thought about all those times I had done the same in others aspects in my life. Sometimes I saw a “problem” or situation that looked scary, but as soon as I had decided to face it and “walk through it” it was not as awful as I had thought before. And in the end that situation ended up totally inoffensive and easy to accomplish.
But other times, things got really rough when I had decided to “cross the puddle” without the expected caution and I had ended up at the bottom of the problem, desperately trying to find the way out.
At that point I was trying to find a long stick to see how deep that puddle was and see if my shoes and the bottom part of my trousers would not suffer too much in the process, when a cyclist passed as a bullet over the puddle giving me a very unwanted “midday shower” but clearing my doubts once and for all about the depth of that scary ocean in front of me.
When I arrived to my client’s office, he looked at me perplexed and asked me what had happened to me.
I just answered: “I just had a wisdom shower” and continued my day laughing at myself the whole day.
People are like puddles too, their “wisdom” could look deep and vast, but once we take a closer look, those oceans of wisdom, honesty, friendship, hate, meanness, wealth or health, is shallower than it seemed.
In any case, be careful when you find a puddle of anything in your path, take your time and observe carefully, before ending up in the bottom of a ditch. (figuratively or physically).
Taken from my book: Continuum