Lessons of Moving Water

Do you hear it? The sound of water cascading over itself, falling and splashing without stopping?

On a class walk around campus we stopped at one of the rivers that feed the lake on campus. The river at one point became a waterfall, just beneath a road bridge. The water was high and the waterfall was going pretty fast for such  a small stream.  It was great to just listen and watch the water.

Watching the water I saw all the obstacles the water had in going downstream. Each time the water hit an obstacle or log, it just went around. Effortlessly the water just avoided a problem. I thought it would be nice if I could do that. Just come to a problem and without effort just move on, go to where I want to go, do what I want to do.

I followed the “rushing” water from the waterfall a few yards downstream. It completely changed. It was so stagnant and so slow. All that energy just gone. It was like the end of last semester. I had too much work not enough time, and just pushed and used up all my energy. Then suddenly it was break, and I had nothing going on, nothing to do. Then break ended and I was back in school doing things every day.  It was interesting to realize how much we just go with the flow and adapt to “different waters.”  Though, sometimes being like a river might be a bad thing. If we just go with the flow, we don’t really strive to better ourselves and find new goals or perspectives.

The stagnant slow water was much less interesting than the rough water of the little waterfall. It’s the same for people. Often people who stop moving forward seem less interesting to those who keep on both feet moving forward. Those who put in effort and throw themselves into their work, their world always seem more amazing.

It’s truly amazing how a little river on a rainy day could show this many lessons.


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