How is a well-worn bike path like a planet?

Yesterday, I was riding along a lakeside path, and as I rode along I observed great varieties of people along the path.

And you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the people I saw had widely differing attitudes on what they were doing. So differing were the attitudes and behaviors of the people I passed, that a strange parallel began to dawn in my mind.

How is a path like a planet?

I was lucky; it was a gorgeous day, a little more humid than I’d prefer, but excellent biking weather, nonetheless. I was riding a trail along Lake Mendota on my way to downtown; and, not surprisingly, I observed quite an array of attitudes and behaviors. As they were approaching me from the other side of the trail, I could tell that some biker’s were incredibly focused, their eyes narrowed and cold, as if they were incredibly determined to lose weight or gain the physique they always wanted.

Still others seemed to be having a bit more fun, and usually these were the ones biking with a partner, but not always. You could tell the ones that were obviously having more fun because their pacing was a bit leisurely and they seemed more relaxed than the hyper-focused bikers. Sometimes people even tried carrying on conversations between themselves, but constantly varying distance between their two bikes made it difficult. (I don’t recommend it unless it’s especially quiet, such as at night. Otherwise, it’s just too difficult to carry on any cogent conversation.)

What caught me off guard

And still others were just walking, and these were almost always in groups. (And as you can probably guess, they were more easily able to carry on conversations than the bikers.) What caught me off guard though, was a couple children who passed me as they were running the other way, right along the bike path! They both seemed a little panicky, and I never did find out what they were after. By the time I could safely look behind, they were gone.

But I think the most pleasant sights I saw while on the path were an older couple holding hands as they walked, and a small group of children smiling and talking as they followed the path.

And then it hit me

And it then a strange parallel occurred to me:
How is this path any different from Earth itself?

We all walk this Earth. We all depend upon it. We all walk a path, but we may not be going the same directions or for the same reasons. And we can tell those we meet along the path to always remember to not take the path for granted. It wasn’t always here, and it won’t always be here.

We all share the path and all benefit by keeping it clean and useable.

The path is beautiful.
What do you value most about it?
What are some things you can do to keep yourself from taking it for granted?