For those of you raised in the 1960’s, as I was; surely you recognize the title of this post as the immortal words of one of the 20th Century’s greatest philosophers! Yes, I speak of that cartoon sage of wisdom; Bugs Bunny! Hey, do not even get me started on what Woody Woodpecker taught me about living life in the moment!
The episode would begin with a panoramic overview of some forlorn desert setting. We would be treated to a mound of dirt trailing across the barren expanse. Suddenly it would come to a stop and Bugs Bunny would pop up. He would produce a map, stare at it in frustration, and utter the famous words, “I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque!” In some episodes, Daffy Duck would pop up behind him and utter, “I can’t believe you got us lost again!”
Resigned to being in the middle of nowhere, Bugs and Daffy would be subjected to a hilarious test of their wits. This fond memory of my childhood reminds me that life is a series of paths, left hand turns, and being lost in the middle of nowhere.
If my teenaged path had not presented multiple turns, I would have continued my studies at the US Air Force Academy, been commissioned as an officer, and served an illustrious military career! Then again, I might be lying dead in the middle of nowhere; the victim of some obscure military engagement! My blood pressure problem forced me out of the Academy. Since that painful time, it has never registered high again!
We are not given any choice in having to follow a path through life. It is what we call the human experience! We are, however, granted free will in what direction we turn each time the path comes to a fork. Sometimes we instinctively know whether to go left or right; the choice and its results are clearly obvious. Other times, the choice is not so simple. Either fork can look equally appealing, or for that matter equally distasteful. It is at those moments that our inner fortitude and integrity is tested!
There are moments where we have to choose the lesser of two evils. Other times, we are faced with the question of which direction best benefits us. Rarely do we ask ourselves the question, “Which direction will be for the highest good of all concerned?” If we follow this approach, if we listen to what our inner voice whispers out to us; we are bound to make the right choice every time. It may not be what we desire and it may actually cost us; but in the end, the fact that others benefit makes it the right choice.
Each time we chose a direction to take on our life’s path, it puts us onto a completely different path. It is like following a spider web in many ways. The beauty of life is that there are a near-infinite number of path combinations that we can take. Invariably, no matter what directions we take, left or right; we simply find ourselves at the center of the spider web once our life draws to an end.
So, the destination loses all significance and what we experience along the journey becomes all that is important. It all simply takes me back to my favorite philosopher! Now, please forgive me while I put on my Daffy Duck pajamas and my Bugs Bunny slippers. It is time for me to contemplate whether I am going to turn left or right at Albuquerque!