When is a curved line like a straight line?

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I remember reading that in some geometry text book and believing it. Simple. Straight forward. Seems right. The most efficient way from A to B is the straight way. Neat. I tend to be a straight line kind of person.

The problem is, life throws you a lot of curve balls. Or maybe plunks a lot of obstacles in your path. Forces you to leave the comfort of the straight. It’s so inefficient to have to curve that way.

A friend and I engage in a good-natured debate about the best way to manage the point A to point B journey. It doesn’t bother her to take the long and winding way. She enjoys the extra stops and the adventure of the unknown. She figures there are things to be collected in those places that better prepare you for B ahead. Somewhere ahead.

I can’t disagree. My imposed meanderings always manage to offer enlightenment that speeds me on my way in a much more capable frame of mind. But when you’re a straight-line kind of person, bending is a bit unnatural. And painful.

Perhaps I’m not meant to travel a bending path. Maybe more of a series of straight paths. In the rough times, these are VERY short straight paths. Perhaps that is what God had in mind when He made me kind of near-sighted?  For me, discerning direction is simply a matter of choosing the best straight away in the current circumstance, then the next and the next.

And can’t you define a curve by the points of intersection of an infinite number of tangential lines? Straight lines? I think I remember that from some geometry book. I like it.

I’d like to think that life will have increasingly longer straight-aways. But God knows I would just pick up a head of steam and have to squeal wheels on the turns. Probably safer just to pace myself in the straight lines and be looking for the next turn.

There are people who specialize in running the turns like my friend who chooses to navigate the curves. For me, that’s risky. Centrifugal force takes hold. Better focus on staying in my lane. The finish line may be closer than I think.



About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Body, Cool Science, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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