Boarding the Ark 

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Being next is the best place to be. 

Standing in line waiting my turn can be an incredible opportunity to make new acquaintances, learn new things and be inspired to live another day with altered feelings. I can start my day a little grumpier than I should. It’s a “got up on the wrong side of the bed” excuse kind of thing. Never acceptable, even to me. 

Spotting a line I’m destined to join can exacerbate my crummy attitude until I adjust and accept the inevitable, the line is part of life – join the party. 

Standing there in the midst of my fate is an opportunity to become a slightly better human being. A bit of courtesy to fellow line-mates never is a bad thing. 

One thing is for sure; once you reach the station in line when the cashier says, “Next” and you realize you are the target of the invitation, a heart thumping pride of the promotion, what an exciting position to hold. Its tempting to shout, “Look at me! I’m Next!” Life is good. 

Congestion will often cause hypertension. Heart rates quicken with an increase in blood pressure and more rapid breathing. Our intent is to avoid congestion and impolite crowds as often as possible. We believe its healthier in many ways. Leave early. 

Don’t tolerate lines and slow people. Its okay to complain. It must be, we often do. We like the adrenalin rush; it feels like exercise. 

Snails are not known for their speed. By their nature they usually don’t appear to be in any great hurry. Perhaps they are better at scheduling and keeping appointments than most of us. I read that it was perseverance that got the snail on board the Ark. They probably started their journey to the ark quite some time before the cheetahs. Cheetahs, I believe, are rather short on patience. But the snails and the cheetahs all made it on board the Ark in time for its departure. The cheetahs got ulcers while the snails took a nap. 

Life among humans these days is quite like getting on board the Ark must have been. Chaos is an adrenalin builder, and healthy or not, adrenalin is often addictive. Let’s agree that addictions can be bad. 

“Sagacious” and “Perseverance”. Add those two words to your familiar vocabulary and try to live them. It will be good for all of us. 

Sagacious means “having keen mental discernment and good judgement”. Like thinking before you speak or looking before you leap. 

Perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. Never give up, keep trying, remain focused… get knocked down seven times, get up eight. 

It’s hard work to think, and certainly demanding to always keep going even after being knocked down. So hard, in fact, that far too many assign those tasks to someone else. Parenting often has been assigned to everyone but the parents; teachers, police officers, social workers, and doctors bare the burden of making quality citizens of our children. So far, it doesn’t appear to be working very well. We need to get in line and do our part. 

Even the snail eventually gets promoted to the coveted status of “Next”. Please step onto the ark. 

Greg Henderson is the retired founder of the Southern Oregon Business Journal. A University of Oregon graduate and a six year U.S. Air Force veteran. Contact him at

Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash

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