At the Crossroads

© Scott Rinckenberger


So, you were saying?


— Yes. I was saying that eventually I arrived at a crossroads. I looked for a sign but didn’t find one. I decided to wait until someone passed through.


And did someone?


— No. I waited a long time. No one came.


What were you thinking?


— I was at a loss.


Did you consider just turning around?


— Yes, of course. I knew what lay behind me. I had no idea what lay ahead, in any of the three other directions.


But to go back …


— I know.


And then again, not to go back …


— I know. I think it comes down to what kind of person you are.


You mean …


— Here’s someone who can’t imagine turning around. It’s the only option she won’t even consider. Here’s someone else who can’t imagine making any other choice, under those circumstances.


I suppose. But isn’t there a third type?


— Tell me.


The person who can’t or won’t make any choice at all. Who just sits there at the crossroads, not deciding, waiting for something to happen.


— Yes. That sounds right.


In the end, what did you do?


— I’ll tell you in a moment. But first, tell me what you would have done in my place.


Flipped a coin, I guess.


— I continued in the same direction. Do you want to know why?


Yes, of course.


— Well, it certainly wasn’t because I had any idea at all where it would take me. And I had no reason to believe that turning right or left wouldn’t have been a better choice.


Why, then?


— Because in the absence of any external guide, all we have is what’s inside us.


Which is what, for you?


— Belief in the importance of constancy. Of being steadfast. Of persistence.


Why is constancy important?


— Because without it, nothing else is possible.

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