If you’ve noticed, there is a snail on top of the world in the header graphic for this website.
Yes, it sits right there on top of the world.
Aside from the obvious thought that the snail is there because they ARE “slow”… or that “slow and steady wins the race”… there are much deeper reasons a snail exists on top of the world.
This is that story…
I thought to myself one day… “What if that snail had the ability to think on a basic human level? Not evolved, critical thinking, but just enough so that snail could express their thoughts to me.”
They would feel on top of the world… wouldn’t they?
To be given the gift of human thought, the ability to think and express themselves, this snail would feel eternally blessed to have been given the gift of evolution.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the gifts like these that you have been given? Well, the snail in this story, and on the cover of my book, has. It feels like it’s on top of the world (and in the header graphic, it is).
Now, the snail moves so slowly, anything it would try to do to express itself would have to top a short list of the things this snail want to accomplish, right? And, depending on the type of snail, we’re talking about a time period of only 2 to 7 years (in the wild, up to 25 years in captivity) to get whatever this snail wants to do accomplished.
In short, there’s NO time like the present, especially when compared to our average human lifespan of almost 80 years, currently.
And, this snail moves at an astoundingly slow rate of 1 millimeter per second… so I suppose a “snail’s pace” really does apply here.
For the sake of argument, and for this story, we’re going to say that this snail can really only pick one thing, maybe two things, that it can really focus on accomplishing for its life.
We’re talking about the thing, or perhaps the couple of things it wants to do to truly feel on top of the world. Also, it doesn’t have time, nor can it make time for doing much else other than focusing on what we’ll call its “dream.”
Notice, that the snail in the header of this website IS in fact on top of the world?
It moved slowly, because that’s natural for a snail to do, but it also accomplished its one or two things.
And that’s the lesson of the snail on the cover of my book.
It hasn’t reached the top of the world yet, but it’s going to, because it’s following its own “slow manifesto”… one free of technological advancement, one free of distractions, one that I’m sure will be loaded with genuine connection (because heck, it doesn’t have time to create anything else).
We need to be human, but think like this snail. Yes, it’s obvious we can move faster than the snail, we are the evolved species etc… but we can still think like the snail.
It starts with picking your one or two things.
Quit trying to be everything to everyone (you can’t), quit trying to please everyone (you can’t), and quit trying to do everything everyday (you can’t).
Slow down, do your one or two things… get good at that, in fact get so good at that you’ll be able to share it with other people in the world. You know, the ones that really “get” you. Then, show them how to find their one or two things, how to slow down… how to tune out the marketing, the unnecessary, the critics.
Do that one or two things you have time for in your 80 or so trips around the sun. Obviously, we’ll expect bigger things from you because you can move faster than 1 millimeter per second… but let’s keep this relative, OK?
Sure, you can use the tools and technology needed to do your one or two things. The snail used its tools, and whatever technology it was capable of using. Of course, because you’re human, and because technology at your disposal is just a little bit more advanced, we’ll expect your one or two things to reflect that.
But don’t get distracted by unnecessary upgrading encouraged by marketing companies, don’t fall prey to endless emails sitting in your inbox, and shut off the damn phone once in awhile. Don’t forget to acknowledge your loved ones, your friends, and enjoy life for what it is (not what marketing makes it to be).
Because in the end, we’re all snails in the eyes of the evolved life form that looks at us and our ability to walk about 5 mph, do all this quantum mechanics stuff, and explore less than 4% of space… and thinks…
“Oh they’re so cute, those little humans running around acting like they’re important. They’ll learn soon enough.”
You see, the little snail on top of the world in the header graphic, I never wrote the world you see was Earth, did I? It’s that snail’s little world.
Kind of puts our world into perspective in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t it?
We’re just on this pale blue dot, trying to make our way and understand things better. We’re trying to explore, engage, connect, work, play, love, etc…
But are we really, truly, deep down doing it the way each of us wants to?
Are we following this snail’s example? I mean, they have been on this planet for over 500 million years… so I think the snail, this snail, has a lot to teach us… if we bother to slow down enough to learn.