Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Walking to drain away envies and grudges.

•           "Those long hours of walking drained away envies and grudges... old hatreds suddenly appeared vain, petty, futile." (75-6) How long would you have to walk, to experience such a drain? (Or are you one of those rare humans without envies and grudges?)
Don Enss

            As I read about Rousseau’s journey through life in both Herman and Gros and how his walking evolved until in the end, he was walking, “with nothing left to hope for or expect. Just life, allowing yourself to exist,” I was reminded of a couple of quotes, one from Andy Dufresne and “Red” Redding in the Shawshank Redemption – “Get busy living or get busy dying,” and one by Dylan Thomas, “Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Do not go gentle into that good night.”

            For all of Rousseau’s attempt to capture the essence of primitive man, the “noble savage,” I believe he missed a far greater concept that has transcended human beings from the beginning of life as a single cell, that is the desire to survive and thrive and along the way to help others achieve the same.

            In the past few weeks we have lost some special people, Muhammed Ali and now Pat Summitt who accepted death but who have left a legacy of helping so many people. We have also been witness to some horrific scenes of violence in Orlando and Istanbul and acts of courage and caring by individuals who put others’ lives before their own.

            Walking to reflect is good for everyone but walking to lift up another will uplift you and you will realize that there is still plenty to hope for. Rousseau didn’t have to see his life drain away, he just needed to get busy living.


  1. This is an inspirational post, Don. I find that walking serves many purposes. Some days it's a serene journey into the unknown crevices of my mind, and some days it seems as if I'm trying to avoid imminent death and dismemberment from oncoming traffic. Then there's that middle continuum. I need to get out in the country more.

  2. I've noticed that I almost always feel more generous of spirit towards others, after walking. It makes sense that the emotional residue left behind, after envy hostility have drained away, would be more sociable and socially constructive and less egocentric.

    Protest marches and other cause-centered walks (for a cure, for funding medical treatment, against militarism and ecological destruction) are explicitly about "uplift," but I think every kind of movement can be constructive.