Early this morning I went for a jog. While I was running I saw a snail on the jogging track, one of the many crawling around the apartment complex. Since the morning walkers would be out soon I decided to get the snail off the track, because its chances of survival were inversely proportional to the number of foot falls.
As I tried to lift it up, it held its ground firmly and just wouldn’t budge. I didn’t try too hard, afraid that I might pull its shell off, making it more vulnerable. So I decided to let it be, offering a silent prayer, hoping that it would live a long life.
As I started running again, I thought about what had just happened. I was trying to help the snail, but it still refused to cooperate. In the snail’s favour it had no idea about my intentions, and so did what it thought was right. Experience or instinct, the snail decided to stand its ground (literally).
This incident reminded me of times when I had behaved like that snail. Unaware of the other person’s intentions, or worse still ignoring it, I ended up doing more harm to myself than good. As a parent today, I am able to get a different perspective to what my parents used to advise me when I was younger. Just like that snail, I disregarded the help I was getting in the form of advice.
Even as grown-ups, we often don’t listen / take help from others, saying “How can I trust that person? I hardly know him/her!” While there is nothing like the luxury of knowing the person well enough to know if they can be trusted (or not), sometimes it’s those random people who can make the biggest impact in our lives…if we let them. At such times I wish I could move away from my philosophy on trust, which is “You need to earn my trust!” to what one of my friend’s philosophy is – “Trust until given a reason not to.”