Life as kid was the slowest moving pace of life. We enjoyed everyday, 24 hrs was actually 24 hrs. As we get old our mind gets busy and the neurons transfer signals at lower rate, creating an illusion of days moving faster. Weekdays move quick, sun sets earlier and Friday night rushes to Monday morning.
When I was in my 8th grade, we had a race named “Three legged race”. We had not heard about that before but PE teachers showed us how it would be. Participants should be in pairs standing next to each other, legs that touch together in center were tied, so they had to be moved in tandem, turning us into 3 legged. It was a 100m straight race and there were 3 rounds in total with first being preliminary. Selecting the team was based on that preliminary three legged race, held in different phases based on the number of participants. Whoever made top 20 were called for the second round and top 10 of second round made to the final.
Me and my friend were not great sprinters. We had not even won a 100m solo dash while there were winners / runners participating in this game. What if they teamed up? If a winner found a runner, they could win for sure. Still we thought we should give a try just like an another 100m dash, failure was not new to us but trying out was something we kept doing.
We gave our names and we were waiting for the preliminary round to begin. As the announcement came, we reached our spots with legs tied. I used to stand on the left side and he was on my right. My right leg and his left leg were tied together. Throughout the race, our position would be, my right hand holding him around and his left hand around me. As the starter called out “On your marks”, “Set”, with knees supporting the palm and untied legs in front, we stood firm in the start position. As he blew the whistle, we took our first step placing our tied legs in front. My friend used to run faster than me, i knew his pace, i decided to do my job of just supporting him without bothering much. That was the time when empathetical skills showed its face. What if the pair did not know their pace and each tried to control the other. Many pairs did not even make 10 steps, they kept falling, stood up and fell again. Proudly we ended first.
After preliminary round, we felt it should be achievable since it was more about the rhythm of steps than the individual pace. If the rhythm got jumbled, we both would be falling together. Even if one made a mistake, both of us would get it hard. We acknowledged that rhythm, he was averaging the pace and my job was just to support him. Strangely the winner/runner of 100m solo dash, who paired for the preliminary round, did not make top 20.
We followed the same strategy in second around and ended up first again. And in final round, strategically we won the First Place.
As i was thinking about empathy, this race flashed in my memory. It was the best life example of understanding each other and travelling together till the end. Be it a friend, partner, or in any relationship, if you are tied with any person by an emotional bond, you have to be in control of each other. If your bond is so strong, no matter your individual pace, you need to understand each other, adjust your behavior and move in right direction. If you are going to lose control of yourself, either you make other person as well to fall down or break the bond to let it free. Then the other person is going to be left with a broken piece, who decide to carry it to the end all alone or just leave that bond behind to find a better one.
Make wise decision before your bond ties you stronger with other person, try not to break midway.
And this is the picture of winners of 3 legged race, me bearing an unsmily smile 🤗 (Had to edit other’s face as they own their privacy)
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