I think there are some parts of life and relationships that are very much like a Merry Go Round. Let’s pretend just for a moment that you’ve never ridden a Merry Go Round before. You go to the amusement park and you are drawn by the music playing, you follow it until you find where the music is coming from and you discover a Merry Go Round.
For a long time you stand there watching the Merry Go Round, looking at what it does, listening to the music, taking in the sights, the smells, the way it turns and that some of the horses move, and some don’t, the speed, the colors and lights of it all. You watch as other people interact, getting on and off the ride, laughing and smiling as they take their turn. It is fascinating in some ways and you could potentially just stand and watch it for hours, days, both up close or from a distance and still enjoy looking at it. Some people become so entranced and love Merry Go Rounds so much that they buy miniature music box one’s to enjoy in their homes.
While it’s nice to enjoy the Merry Go Round in this way and much safer because, of course, there’s no way to potentially get hurt by the Merry Go Round just watching and listening to it. At some point the question becomes, is just watching enough?
You cannot truly experience the Merry Go Round unless you first slow it down or stop it and get on. Standing on the sidelines watching and listening will never compare to being on the actual ride. Only when you get on the ride can you actually tell what kind of paint is on the ponies or if there are chips in the enamel. You can’t tell from a distance if the paint is smooth like glass, or soft to the touch, if the paint has a deep texture where you can feel the groves and ridges on each pony or animal, or whether there are splinters and weather worn places. You can’t, from an observation standpoint, ever know what it actually feels like to get on that pony, hold the bar and feel whether it will hold your weight, move smoothly, or if it will shake a bit. You can’t even tell from an imagination standpoint, what it might feel like to sit on one of the seats of the stationary, painted parts of the ride and whether they are uncomfortable, or if it’s a pleasant place to be with the wind softly passing by as you glide on the ride. Even if you are a real visual person, it is hard to fully imagine what it is like to walk the wooden plank floor while the ride is moving or even when it slows down and stops unless you actually do it a few times.
Life and relationships are much the same as experiencing the Merry Go Round. You can potentially sit safely on the sidelines observing the ride itself, watching the passersby, enjoying the music, and imagining what it would be like, but if you never take a chance, and reach out to seize the opportunities, then you will be safe, but you will miss out on the experience.
There are people who enter our lives every day; each one is different, with their own personality, their own experiences to share and with something different to offer. Maybe it’s time to notice, reach out, make a new friend and expand your horizons. Maybe it’s time to go after that thing you’ve been thinking about trying for years. Seriously, would you rather wind up with regrets that you never tried, or fond memories of trying but things possibly not working out the way you wanted or planned? What if by trying it didn’t work as you planned, but because of the experience you found something even better?
Cherry Coley (c)