More times than not, we are convinced that we aren’t doing enough. We constantly compare ourselves to those above us, and even to those on our same social or professional tier. We wonder why Joey in the next cubicle seems to make more sales, or why Angelina stars in more lead roles. Why does Susie get more phone numbers, or Stephen more athletic awards?
We ask ourselves all of these questions in vain, because life is an escalator. We climb constantly in an attempt to reach the levels of those higher than we, forgetting that those we try to catch up with are often moving too. The climb is constant. It’s perpetual. But beyond that, it's individual. To each his own revolving staircase! We will find no metal grate to receive us at the top. Instead, we must jump when we reach the end of our belt. We have to take a leap from solid ground we’ve been climbing, and pray to God that we land safely on that next moving step. To make the process harder, we must keep running, lest we fall behind the other stair steppers, our competitors.
We see this leap at the end of very specific periods in our lives. (Think of the coined term ‘stepping-stone.’) Take, for instance, Kindergarten. A child spends each of the 2,000 or so days leading up to the first day of school learning the basic skills of life, eating and walking and engaging in short conversation. Parents teach their kids to tie their shoes, to say please and thank you and not to slurp juice boxes. A child’s brain absorbs these tidbits and compartmentalizes them daily. But they don’t remain on the “table-manners step” for long, for more challenges wait just ahead, and the belt is running out. When a child turns 5, his parents must drop his tiny hands and watch him leap onto their next set of stairs: school and education.