Dead End vs Obstacle


If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together

~African proverb

I was running by myself and doing just fine. I was keeping up with the pros and I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I had trained for this and I was ready to conquer every obstacle placed before me.

There were teams around me, people who had on similar outfits that were running in sync and chanting cute, little motivating cadences.

While there was something appealing about their combined efforts,

I recognized that together they were moving slower than me.

I passed several of these groups with the polite runners yell “On your left.”

By myself, I was killing it. I had no trouble getting through the first 5 obstacles. Heck, I did it and I was breaking my own record, a record I had made when I ran with other people. Yep, by myself I was doing much better.

Until, “It” appeared.

It was an 11-foot wall. And since I failed the class in rock climbing and parkour, It, stood between me and the finish line.

No solutions came to me as I stood there and pondered how to get over the wall on my own. The teams that I had so smugly passed a little while back, were approaching. I could hear their cadences getting louder, stronger and closer.

The teams got to the wall and without a missed beat they formed human ladders and just like that, everyone was over the wall while I was still standing there, by myself, stuck!

Yeah, I got to that dead-end really fast, by myself.

Then, another independent runner came along, without so much as a greeting she said “If you help me, I will help you.” She didn’t wait for a response, just put her hands together, signaled for me step into her hand and then hoisted me over the wall.

I got over the wall and came back for her, doing the same thing for her that she had done for me.

I laughed at how a dead end was turned into a simple obstacle by simply unifying with another person.

Today, Umoja, is about unity.

Often we struggle because we go alone.

Alone, feels good, no accountability, no question, no having to get consensus but alone turns mere obstacles into dead ends.

Alone you must stop, together you build a human ladder and get everyone over. Today, let’s be a ladder. #Umoja

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