Editor's Note: The following is a post from Christine Baker. Baker and her dog Jesse set off on a on May 30. So far they've walked 375 miles, raised $6,000 from 1,206 dedications
Walking does something to a person. Our daily life moves at such a frenetic pace that we don’t really see much. Literally. Everything in the car goes by in a blur. Everything in our office is ignored except the task at hand. How often do you even walk around your own house and look- I mean really look – at the photos in the frames or the pictures on the walls?
When you walk, it’s an entirely different perspective. You see bees resting on beautiful bloomed flowers. You see the way the tall grass moves in unision with the light summer wind. You stop to look up at the hawk as it passes by overhead, and you actually pay attention to the shadow it leaves on the ground below. You notice how deeply green the trees are. And when you are around people, you take notice of their facial expressions, you stop for a moment to record the way their eyes crinkle up right before they laugh. You listen better to people when they talk and take more time to actually ask them how they are doing – and care about the answer.
I wonder how many of us pass through life without seeing much at all? How many of us go through life with blinders on? We pass from work to home and back to work again without taking in the beauty of an individual moment – that once it passes, is lost forever.
Each day, we are given 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. I have learned not to waste a single one. And I have learned this by walking because walking forces me to live in the present moment. If I want to go faster, I have to move my legs faster and sometimes that’s not so easy. If I need to be careful going down an incline, I have to be present in that moment to ensure my own safety. And the beauty of walking is that I can look around and see- really SEE as I move forward. I’ve had the opportunity to walk with strangers and talk with them about Walk4Good. Or sometimes we just talk about the weather. On one day, I walked about a mile with someone named Susan who told me about her father and how he suddenly died. It was pretty personal stuff to talk about with a stranger, but in that moment, it fit. And it was a conversation I will never forget.
So I am asking you this – why don’t you slow down a little bit and really see the people around you? Tomorrow is July 4 and there will be parades with veterans who have served our country. Take the time to thank a veteran. Take a time to talk with a veteran – have a conversation, tell that veteran how much his or her service has meant to you. They need to hear it. We need to say it.
Maybe even take a walk. Bring your camera and take photos of all the small beautiful things you see along the way. They will remind you that when you slow down, there is a whole world to see, and a life to really live, not fly through.
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