What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Today was interesting. After checking in at the hotel in the afternoon, I walked down to a bus stop and caught a bus down to the Golden Gate Park, a few miles away. After spending some time there, I planned to go up to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Before leaving Utah, I used Google Earth to figure out how far it is from the park to the bridge. Well, as the crow flies it was about three miles, but as it turns out, the roads go all over the place, and it turned out to be a longer distance through very hilly terrain.
A couple hours later I found myself at the bridge. I walked across, taking some pictures, thinking that when I got to the other side I would catch a bus back across and to my hotel, now about 7 miles away. To my surprise, there were no bus stops, no cabs, no nothing on the other side. I was already very weary from speedwalking several miles, and I hadn’t eaten in ten hours. Grudgingly, I walked back across the long bridge, my legs very sore from walking so far so quickly.
And then I thought about the pioneers. While they probably didn’t speedwalk like I had been doing, they walked long distances each day. They pulled handcarts, children, and all their belongings. I had a camera and a tripod. They went long periods without fresh water and food. So too, I hadn’t eaten for ten hours.
But they found joy in their journey. As I walked back across the bridge, I wondered why. My conclusion is that they had an end goal to look forward to, to serve as their impetus, their drive, their focus.
Their end goal: Zion, freedom from persecution, and settling in the West in peace. My end goal: a cab back to my hotel, and then room service.
Yeah… let’s just say that my life isn’t that hard…