One morning in New Jersey, I went walking on the boardwalk.
There was the Atlantic to the left, the sun high above, that fresh ocean air in my lungs. It was blissful.
Until someone passed me on the boardwalk. Passed me with her arms making big pendulum swings and her feet bouncing around in flashy sneakers.
Oh, so this is a race now? my ego poked its head up. Well, I will give you a race.
I revved up and shot down the boardwalk. Forget the Atlantic to my left and that fresh ocean air in my lungs. This wasn’t a time for poetry, this was a time to show who the real walkers of the world were.
I was galloping madly along now, out of breath, decidedly unblissful, but gaining on that walker.
Until some older, kinder part of me gave a nudge, “You know that Mark Twain line, ‘Comparison is the death of joy.’”
I slowed a little. The walker pulled ahead. A big, loud part of me was roaring to go racing after her.
Can you step aside from your red hot ego? I asked myself. Enough to give that walker her walk and give yourself back your walk? This, I quietly realized, might be the only way to regain the bliss I’d had moments before.
I took a deep, long pull of that fresh ocean air. My ego reluctantly put its head down.
Walk your walk, I said silently to the walker. I’ll walk my walk. And may both be blissful.