Last week I was working down in the South West of the UK, the land of many tractors. The country roads are narrow and the tractors are very slow. And so it was, on a stretch of road with no turnings off for miles, I found myself behind a tractor towing a trailer and moving along at 20 miles an hour. The car in front of me, also in the unfortunate position, was having none of it. He or she overtook just before a bend and managed to pull in just in front of an oncoming car. A lucky escape that could have caused numerous deaths. I plodded on for about 8 miles not prepared to take any risks; if I was late for the meeting so be it. I couldn’t help reflecting on what might have been. It could have been the end of that person’s life and he or she could have put other families into turmoil for years to come. It seems so foolish yet we all take these risks just for the sake of getting somewhere a little faster.
Tractors are not the only things that cause us to slow down in life. Other things come and go, illness, unemployment, an accident etc. When I look back over my life I see these times as some of the most formative, yet we do everything we can to avoid them. We seem to value doing things or achieving more than giving ourselves time to relax and enjoy life. We mark success in our lives by the amount we have done. But at the end of the day what does it matter how fast we got to a meeting or how much our bonus was this year? These are not the things we are thinking of at the end of our lives as we reflect back.
Next time you are stuck behind a tractor, slow down, turn up the music and sing a little song to yourself. You may not get another chance to be stuck behind one for a while!
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