LIFE IS SIMPLE: Learning the post-turtle lesson

We’ve all witnessed it at one time or another—probably way too often. You’re at a meeting, conference or other type of gathering where the person in charge asks if anyone has any comments or questions. Then one person (usually the same one every time) gets up and begins to drone on for several minutes about something that probably only interests the person doing the droning. Sound familiar?
After observing one of the aforementioned speeches at a meeting I attended last fall, I leaned over to a good friend who was sitting beside me and sarcastically asked, “What is this guy even talking about?”
“It doesn’t matter,” he answered. “He’s a post-turtle.”
Since I was raised to be polite, I didn’t pursue an explanation at that point, but as soon as the meeting adjourned, I pulled my friend aside and asked him, “Just what the heck is a post-turtle?”
With a wry smile, my friend began …
“Many years ago, my grandpa and I were walking down an old dirt road early one morning. We had noticed that there were more than the usual number of turtles making their way across the road – and along the side of the road, as well. All of a sudden, something caught my eye just a few feet from the pathway. I stopped Grandpa and pointed to something moving on the top of a wooden fence post. We strolled over to the commotion, and there, sitting on top of the post, was a turtle. He was just floundering around with his legs hanging down around the outer edge of the post without making contact with anything, and sticking his head in and out of his shell.”
“How did that turtle get up on the top of this post?” my friend asked the sage old man.
Thoughtfully, his grandpa replied, “He doesn’t know how he got up there, and he probably doesn’t know why he’s up there, either. But for a few minutes he does know that he is higher up than any other turtle, so they’ll all have to look up to him. Sonny-boy, it doesn’t matter whether it’s turtles or people, there’s one in every bunch.”
“What will happen to him?” the boy pleaded.
“Oh, he’ll get tired after a while and quit his fidgeting and head-pokin’. Eventually he’ll lose his balance or a stiff wind will stir up and blow him back to the ground, where he belongs. After all, he doesn’t get the chance to be a post-turtle every day.”
Copyright 2018 (c) Jerry Crownover

Ozark County Times

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