The Fear of Escalators

This morning I was at the airport on my way to security screening. When I got to the escalator there was a line, but no one was on it. I stood there a little perplexed before I heard a little girls voice say, “I’m scared”. I then see her mother pick her up and step onto the escalator, before setting her down for what must be one of her first escalator rides. I chuckled to myself and didn’t think much of it until a couple things happened which made me think she just may be braver than me. A little girl in a princess outfit.

I was standing in line at the ever efficient TSA when I looked over and they opened a security line just for this little girl and her family. With my super sleuthing skills, it suddenly strikes me that maybe something is going on. I head to my gate and as I’m walking I see a lady in a princess outfit, then another and then the boarding area for her flight is decked out in Disney, complete with castle entrance, Mickey and Minnie and lots of princess garb. Now I’m really thinking something is up.

It turns out, she was heading to Disney with one of the Make A Wish foundations (I had never heard of this specific one, but it seemed to be the same idea). I didn’t get a chance to talk to the parents, but the thought struck me, as with most kids in her situation, she’s probably very brave dealing with whatever disease is attacking her. In fact she probably takes the shots, the endless hours in the hospital and the grim news with way more class and bravery than you or I ever could. And yet, she’s scared of riding an escalator.

Fear can cripple us from stepping out and doing something simple, even if we can walk through some of the worst situations without even flinching. Kids like that inspire me, the fact that they can face death and do so with a smile is amazing. And yet it seems the things that hold me (and you I’m sure) back from achieving our potential aren’t the big scary things, it’s probably something simple, less dangerous. It’s an escalator, something different, something that pulls us out of our comfort zone. The big stuff we can handle, it’s that phone call or that conversation with our kids that really scares us to death. The big question…are you willing to step out and see where it takes you.

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