“Attachment to being right creates suffering.When you have a choice to be right, or to be kind, choose kind and watch your suffering disappear.” – Wayne Dyer
Every morning when I went to work in downtown Toronto, I would have to take the GO Train. During spring and fall when the sun doesn’t come up as fast, it would take longer for the dew to evaporate. And there you would see the snails. Slowly getting to where they want to go.
The problem was that they were on the stairs. And because people are always in a hurry (to get to work…i’ll never understand), they don’t pay attention. More often than not, the snails didn’t make it to where they were going, due to someone’s lack of interest in the world around them. It always broke my heart when I saw a snail that was stepped on.
As I was talking my walk this morning through the ravine, there were snails everywhere, since the trees block out the sun and keep the area cool and damp. I was reminded of those mornings, seeing the snails, and I started thinking about how this is a perfect metaphor of DREAMERS in environments where there are people lashing out at you because of their own insecurities and problems, and subsequently crushing your dreams.
I have had managers who really didn’t care about their staff (PLEASE NOTE: I used ‘managers’ here, and not ‘leaders’. Leaders are decisive and inspiring and engaging) that have felt intimidated by the abilities, resourcefulness and creative thoughts of their teams and subsequently crushed young dreams because the manager wanted to feel superior (usually by using the ol’ ‘i’m thinking of the company’ answer, when the biggest investment you can make in any company is in people). Let’s call them what they are: dream crushers. I tried for a very long time to not let it get to me, but it’s hard to fly when they clip your wings.
Back to the snails. It’s a journey. Like the snails, you won’t get to where you are going immediately. It takes time (sometimes a lifetime) to get to your purpose or dream in life. But you have to keep going. So what did I do this morning? I looked down while I was walking, and made sure that I didn’t step on any snails so they could get to their destination.
I try to use this in my own life – treat others how you would like to be treated. Instead of being so caught up in my life, I really try to help others where I can. Instead of being right, where can you be kind and lift someone else up so that they will get where they are going?
I am lucky that I have also had great managers who saw my potential and fought for me in the corporate world. I also have a wonderful community at my church and a family that is always there for me. I am blessed. So I pay it forward where I can.
I would love to hear how you help others! How do you respond when someone who is younger/less experienced/eager puts an idea by you? I challenge you to hear them out and give encouraging feedback the next time that happens to you, and possibly help them make a connection with someone who can help them if you can. Share your experiences in the comments section!