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The Long, Winding, Unnecessarily Difficult Path

It’s their favorite, don’t you know, the path that meanders through the thorns, burs, and brambles, the one full of ticks and chiggers, ditches and mountains. The one that makes the pit of your stomach ache every time they disappear from view.

Maybe you took a similar path. You saw the straight, paved road before you, with its neatly trimmed borders, perhaps a line of shade trees to soften the blazing sun. You thought about it; you contemplated your options. The finish line was far off in the distance, barely visible to the naked eye but attainable. Then, when the starter pistol sounded, you darted to the left or the right, or maybe the left then the right, and took off down your very own meandering and unnecessarily complicated path, not noticing the cuts and scrapes, unaffected by the sighs of your parents before you.

Perhaps, after the long arduous task of clearing brush, filling pits, and flattening uneven and unforgiving surfaces along the way, you took a well-deserved breath and touched the line. Then smiling, satisfied, turned to extend a welcoming hand to your own progeny, only to see the tips of their bobbing heads as they raced to the right and to the left of the trail you just blazed.

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