The End of the Line

I do not like being at the End of the Line!
The End of the Line
The End of the Line

I have often said, “All things being equal, if we are going the same place at the same speed then I would just as soon be at the head of the line.”

Easily this applies to that long line of cars ahead of me on my way to some important destination.

Being at the back of the line often means you are subject to the idiosyncrasies of anyone ahead of you. Their reaction to other drivers, or their distraction by what is seen in the periphery. No matter what your driving type might be – I still want to be ahead of you!

Does this make me a leader?

Not necessarily…  Though, in some ways, “I is one…”.

Do you remember those popular days of the 70’s when everyone wanted their own Citizens Band radio? CB’s for short. Not only did you get to drive around like a police car with your whip antenna, but you also got to hold a microphone and communicate with other drivers in the area. “Breaker, Breaker 1-9. There’s a smokie hanging back of the billboard just waiting to light up that speeder.” Or some such popular lingo!

Back in those popular days, and probably even today (though I have not owned a CB radio for 25 years), you went by a nick name that was called “your handle.” Other radio handlers would ask for your handle and you would share that nickname, and maybe the rig you were driving so they would not miss you! That way you never had to identify yourself by anything other than what you want people to know about you.

Did you have a handle?

Mine was “Pathfinder.” Partly because it came from James Fenimore Cooper’s writing of the Leatherstocking series featuring Natty Bumpo (interesting name!). One of the titles was “The Pathfinder” and I truly enjoyed the thought of finding pathways to the west as it was opening up back in the 16th-19th centuries. The other reason for this handle was that I was pretty good at finding shortcuts. Going to a John Denver Concert back in 1977, I was driving – all four of us squeezed in the bench seat of my truck. My wife, my cousin and his wife, and me… Traffic was horrendous on the Southwest Freeway! I knew the backroads and exited the freeway and cut our travel time by half to the venue!

That’s the purpose of a Pathfinder!

Another issue about being at “The End of the Line” is that you never learn anything new, about anything, early in the event. In technology of my earlier career we did not want to be on the cutting edge of changes, we wanted to be on the bleeding edge – in other words, we were the first to know about ANYTHING that happened and were often part of the initial instigators of change!

When things happen way ahead of you and all you can do is react to the chain of events as they reach you.

Have you ever played the corporate game, or parlor trick, where one person whispers a short story to the next person in line, who in turns repeats the whisper to the next person. By the time you get to the end of the line the story is abbreviated and nothing like what it starts out with. The facts are lost! All this is left is innuendo and speculation!

This happened to me this morning as I began investigating something I sensed through social media. I finally went to someone who should know and was told my speculation was true – though I have no facts and can only surmise the “What happened?” unless I go to the source.

My thought for today… Never be happy with being at the End of the Line. Always strive to get to the front of the line so you are involved in what’s happening, instead of reacting! This goes with voting, managing your career, preparing for retirement, or even connecting with a long lost friend!

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