Friday, April 19, 2013

Which Path Does the World Take?

Marking progress on the Arizona Canal multi-use path project in Scottsdale

As a follow-up from the project kickoff post back in December, I note here the excellent progress being shown on the Arizona Canal multi-use path upgrade project in Scottsdale. As noted back then, the "Fall, 2015" date still shown on the City of Scottsdale site appears a bit padded to me, but perhaps the 80-20 rule applies. The wonderfully precise progress marker bar appears to show approximately 66.66% completion at this point, so a linear project progress would put the completion date somewhere in July, 2013.

Two-thirds, give or take
The detail-oriented among you may also note a budgetary difference, from $1.3 megabucks on this sign, compared to $2.3 megabucks on the COS page. Perhaps the last million will be spent slowly, over two years, to really finish it off that last 20% with a bang. We'll see.

Path guardian

I rode on it today, even though it still has 33% more to go, and saw this friendly path guardian watching over all who visit here. I saw him, watching out, and it got me thinking, the path the world takes is decided by each of us, all seven billion, every time we make a small choice, to drive a car or ride a bike, to help someone in need or walk on by, to do something small and good, or large and bad. We make the choices. We pick the path. In some cases, we even build it.

The sum total of the world's path is all of those individual choices added together. Tolerance and understanding, or hatred and violence? These are not only choices made by others, out there, the anonymous mass of seething humanity, but by each of us, all the time. In our jobs, in our families, in the quiet time alone with ourselves riding our bicycles, those choices add up to the world's path, nothing more, and nothing less. It's no use shrugging it off, or pointing the finger at others. I am part of it. Anger, or patience? Rage, or understanding? Which path, world, shall we go down? You are part of it. It is us.

Fresh pavement...and one steel trench plate.

Also, and I'm almost done here, and thank you for your consideration and patience, those small choices have the powerful ability to influence the small choices of others. If you watch, if you pay attention, you will see it in action all the time. Mirror neurons, mood sharing, smile and the world smiles with you, and the opposite, too, the cascade of small decisions forms the waterfall of our lives. That's the role we play. It's what is happening right now.

Mr. and Mrs. Duck, out for a Friday afternoon stroll... careful out there on the path

I've been taking a blog break, and it continues. I'll try to make my small choices the good ones, the right ones, and I'm sure I'll make mistakes, but I'll learn from them and move on. I remain convinced that tolerance and understanding is the path we need to go down. I can't always ride the other way from hate and anger, as sometimes they grab you up and try to smash you down. In that case, I try to respond to them with love and understanding, regardless of how hard they grasp, or how many others are making the same choice. Those small choices are mine, and yours, to make, every day, and they add up. That's which path the world takes.