I regularly visit a small grocery store, where there are two doors on either side of the building; one leads in and one leads out. They’re automatic doors that swing open fairly quickly. But instead of the door opening in the direction people are walking, it opens toward the person. And for someone like me, who usually speedwalks in and out of stores, it has the potential to be disastrous.
For some reason, I mix up those doors nearly every single time I’m at the store, both going in and out. I haven’t been smacked in the face yet, but I’ve come close. I’ve had to quickly jump backward to avoid it.
And each time I wonder, “Why can’t I remember which way to go? Why is this particular store so difficult for me to maneuver?”
It’s not much different from every day life. We may maneuver many situations, relationships, and problems with relative ease, but there are those others that seem to get us just about every time. It’s as if we’re walking along at a brisk pace, taking care of business, when we nearly get flattened. It’s not that we’re unaware, but we seem to be surprised every time, as we can’t quite climb to the top of the learning curve.
Going the wrong way and not learning from our near misses can end up more disastrous than we think. Sure, we can claim our “near misses” as just that: misses that didn’t have lasting effects. But wouldn’t it be better to have lasting effects that are positive?
We need to slow down enough to see the dangers coming from going the wrong way.