HIGH WIRE

Gliding straight through flat air is the simplest thing you can do in a sailplane, yet even that’s not devoid of challenge because the air is rarely still. Any long glide demands that the we sense momentary changes in surrounding flow to nurse the silent slide through each descending mile. Benefits are small, but they always accrue in our favor. Meanwhile, each moment we should question our assumptions and what we’re doing about them – meaning don’t be too sure of yourself. That said, the middle of a tight rope is no place to go indecisive.

I once watched a squirrel cross a suburban street the hard way, on a power line. It was halfway across when a furious bird (bereaved mother of stolen eggs?) attacked it. The furry scamp hunkered and held through strike after strike by doing the one thing that bird could not do: stop. Each time its assailant sped away the squirrel would scamper forward till the next onslaught. Running on a narrow wire was easy, and warding off aerial assaults seemed so too, but doing both at once made delicate work. I had to admire, pity, and even envy the little guy. (Though given a choice, wouldn’t you rather be the bird?)

Our fluffy rodent might have survived a fall to pavement, much as it surely preferred otherwise. But in any case it did chose this risky option over more obvious and secure ones. Its rationale may have been incomprehensible to a driver below or even to the squirrel itself, but kids waiting for a school bus would have understood. Point is, one thing the beast knew above all was to NEVER QUIT. It possessed the courage, forgive a cliche, of conviction.

What’s of greater interest is the source and nature of your conviction!  (Keep in mind that the depth of such courage should never exceed its realism.)