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Topic: OT - A Parable about Life

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Subject: OT - A Parable about Life
Date Posted: 1/16/2011 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I read a really insightful parable about life and love today. It's titled There's a Hole in My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson. It's a 137-page poem, but the beginning provides the gist of it. I thought I'd share it.

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost …. I am helpless.
        It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.
    There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
    But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in … it’s a habit … but,
        my eyes are open.
        I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.

Date Posted: 1/16/2011 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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interesting, where can we find the whole poem?
Date Posted: 1/16/2011 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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That kind of reminds me of something my grandmother used to say, but said more beautifully here, of course....

When she saw me heading toward a mistake I'd already made once, she'd say you know that is the definition of insanity, right? Doing the exact same thing, over and over and over, yet expecting a different result each time.

 

Well, I don't think that is really the definition of insanity, but I get what she was saying...She was telling me to walk around the hole...find a different street! ;-)

 

Genie, it's a very cool poem.

Date Posted: 1/16/2011 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Genie -- thanks for sharing. Sometimes we need that reminder to walk a different street.

Date Posted: 1/16/2011 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Sometimes we need that reminder to walk a different street.

I've need this reminder a lot lately. smiley

Mimi, The whole poem is entitled There's a Hole in My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson. It was published in 1993. ISBN 0941831876

Since there's interest, here are a couple of stanzas from it. Enjoy!

If I say "no" to you

    I will lose you.

If I say "yes" ...

    I will lose myself.

Even if I win, I lose.

    Or do I?

...

The most I can hope for,

    right now,

is to make it to tomorrow ...

    just once ...

without listening

    for the phone.

...

I was always afraid of

    risking risk.

But I found that I could stand

    to fear fear.

At least, risking

    brought about changes ...

and the changes took up so much time,

I forgot what it was I was afraid

    to risk losing ...

    in the first place.

 

Date Posted: 1/16/2011 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I just googled because I was curious about Portia Nelson and found a page that tells a little about her life and mentions a line similar to the one my grandmother used with me, lol.

 

http://www.inspirationline.com/EZINE/10OCT2005.htm

Date Posted: 1/16/2011 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 9,498
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Thank you Genie for the poem.  I'm going to try and locate it.  It seems to mirror my life right now. lol