I spent part of last weekend walking the Freedom Trail in Boston. It’s a double wide red brick trail that leads tourists through many of the highlights of historical Boston where our national history was made, including the site of the balcony where they read the Declaration of Independence to the townsfolk (as well as the spot of the Boston Massacre), to the Meeting House where they debated how to react to all the various taxes being levied, to the Old North Church where Paul Revere’s lanterns were displayed.
Of course we weren’t the only people walking the trail. Group after group were led by costumed characters adding a little color and filling in the backstories. It was both educational and fun.
At least most of the time.
Perhaps it was a reaction to the volume of people on the Trail, or simply a case of FOMO, but I started to feel as if I wouldn’t be able to see everything. There were so many plaques, statues, buildings and cemeteries that if I stopped to read and listen to all of the stories, it would take forever. Entrance fees to some of the places became an excuse not to spend time inside. Getting to the end of the Trail somehow became the goal, not to experience each location.
Luckily, I noticed. I’m not sure many other people did.
We have all been trained that the steps we take are simply a means to get to our destination.
Every day, we set our alarms to get up, go through our morning routines, and get to work on time. Throughout the day we check off each step in our To Do List, in order to reach the time we get to go home. We set annual, monthly, weekly and daily goals in order to make sure everyone gets to the same place.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, the destination becomes more important than the journey.
We get so wrapped up in our processes, in completing each step, that we forget to experience the stops along the way. We focus on the paperwork more than making a personal connection with our members.
Making our goals becomes more important than making a difference.
But wasn’t making a difference the reason we chose to do the work in the first place?