(4) Possibilities While Stranded In a Rat Race (6/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Firmly planted feet
Let mud stop moving around
Preventing nothing
Actualize through movement
Staying still allows the same

(4) Running the City of Magnificent Intentions (5/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Running a race is something else.
Take a moment and see all that is there,
See the expanse of potential,
Recognize the commonalities.
Let it inspire for races tell of hope and
What is possible
When people get together.

Running is no panacea.
Just because a person runs
Does not mean they are fit.
Yet those who are not
Still must find a way to finish.
Perhaps that means keeping their breathing steady,
Slowing their pace, or getting with a good group.
They change, they adapt, they let the race come to them.

Running does not have to be rally filled.
Running does not guarantee allegiance.
Winning does not mean a damn thing
When the runner pushes the rules of competition,
Some call that cheating, but values vary
In the way powerful people act
So delusion lets politicians be politicians
While we watch rats ruin their magnificent race.

(4) Lessons From the Rat Race (4/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

The true spirit of who we are
Gets tested each mile of the race.
Those with the most aerodynamic look
Make running look effortless,
The glide over air barely tapping the ground.

Everyone else finds their way,
The debutantes forgo the look
Getting ugly and persisting when
The masses are no longer paying attention
To them.

The plodders and charitable runners
Weave their ways,
Finding solid footing to only add
To the challenge
Of achieving their goals.

All though, have a system.
They understand their place in the order.
They struggle, persist, achieve.
They do their thing without upsetting others
As a group flow lets everyone succeed.

Perhaps it is time for leaders to pay attention
To simple races where the outcome is uncertain,
The goals are many, and the competition does not get in the way.
Maybe they could learn how everyone
Gets to the same finish line together.

Maybe.

(4) Rat Race Running (3/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Those at the front take off in a sprint
Those dressed for show make it look flashy
Those running for charity look at peace
And those in the back have a party.

The runner’s wave ebbs and flows,
Sometimes one will fall and the mass will part,
Sometimes many will tumble like dominoes.
Such is the way at the start of a race.

All the anxiety
All the hope
All the doubt
Whisks away as their shoulders brush by each other.

(4) Rat Race Start (2/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

There are the runners, the real ones
Who run their warm ups with purpose
Trying to get a sweat like boxers before a fight.

There are beauties there, the needy ones
Who dress in their outfits with purpose
Trying to get an audience like strippers on a pole.

There are do-gooders, the charitable ones
Who run for a cause, their noble purpose,
Trying to raise money for a cure.

Some strap on belts full of energy, mixes of gels and juice,
Others are there for the gab, not really running, just talking
Lastly are the fitness buffs, just trying to burn some fat.

All toe the same line.
All shapes, sizes, and motivations
Working, judging, and pining at the countdown.

And they’re off…

(4) Rat Race Ready (1/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Saturday morning,
A gathering.
Energetic people,
Common activity,
Different purpose.

Mountains of hubris
Warped by charity.
Runners are ready,
Pre-race milling about,
Stereotypes, archetypes, somatotypes.

(3) Rules of Life (5/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

Before, Doug had been distracted
By the buzz of noise that he had difficulty hearing.
After, Doug was totally dialed in
The annoying ringing in his battle damaged ears
Replaced by crystal clear hearing.

He had missed the old stories from high school buds,
Their tales touching that whole Springsteen thing
About longing for the past’s tall tales.
Now Doug was acutely aware of the reality of aging,
His brothers in crime talking of coloring their hair,
Loving drone racing on ESPN, and
Going to the store to buy feminine hygiene products.

Doug sat with thoughts of luck,
Lucky to be alive,
Lucky to be with his friends,
Lucky to have his hearing back.
Then he thought with a gallows style of humor
That he was better off
When he couldn’t hear so well.
At least he could have just
Smiled and laughed
Without understanding how much his friends
Enjoyed romantic comedies.

(3) Active Rest (4/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

The guys gathered around Doug,
Each offering support.

“Come on, fella, you’re alright.”
“No worries, man, you haven’t been drinking.”
“Take your time, no rush.”

Strangely, Doug could hear them all
As if he had never had a bomb take sound away.

The noise was gone.
The words were distinguishable.
The women chatting were expressing concern for Doug’s safety.

He heard it all.
Something inside his head had been reset.

Unexplainable.
Impossible.
Deeply gratifying.

Doug smiled and thanked everyone for their support.
The night went on with his flummoxed look and Doug leaning into the table.