The nature of things

I remember backpacking in the Carter Range in New Hampshire – it’s one valley over from the Presidentials in the White Mountains, and there were trails there that were so rocky, and the footing so unstable, it was such difficult hiking – I was tired, my pack felt heavy, the light was fading – and I got so angry at the trail. Why would anyone make a trail here? This trail is just boulders, why does this trail exist?

It was years later I realized I had some expectation of what a trail should be like – that it should be easier, smoother, it should have better footing. There shouldn’t be so many boulders and river rocks. It’s good to question our assumptions and expectations of how we think “it should be”. The trail just existed, someone chose to walk that way and set the trail. It’s a waste of energy to be angry when things don’t match your expectation. Maybe a better way is to ask why your assumption is thus and why you think your expectation of something is correct. Our expectations are a manifestation of our preconceived biases. Question your biases.

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