Sunday, 5 August 2012

Chasing Meaningless Goals

Homeward Bound.
While out running and walking I so often feel at one with nature. Unlike my son and daughter I never take an mp3 player with me while running, not only because I like to be aware of the traffic and other possible dangers, I prefer to hear the sounds of birds and animals, and the moments of silence.

Recently my clash with nature has not always been a looked forward to experience. About half a mile from where I live, just before I leave the village behind and head out to the countryside, I have been having a frightening two or three hundred yards. Sitting on the rooftops there are two seagulls, almost as if sitting in wait. As I run past they give me a number of lowing flying attacks. Sometimes they Passover my head within inches of me, screaming as they do so. I mean them no harm, not that they know it, but it just all seems like a terrible waste of energy on their part.

I was considering this meaningless gesture when I saw a dog  feverishly chasing its tail, round and round. This reminded me of the dog that lived in one of the previous places I lived. It sat at the end of the drive into the house where its owner stayed. Every time a car or vehicle passed it chased it as fast as it could for a good hundred yards up the road.  I remember saying to the owner, “Do you think your dog will ever get fit enough to catch one of those cars? “

He smiled and replied, “That is not what bothers me. What really bothers me is what he would do if he ever did catch one.”

I smile when I remember that little dog running and barking in its endless and meaningless pursuit.

But these are not the only meaningless actions that can be seen day in and day out. We all at some time have pursued meaningless goals, and wasted precious time getting nowhere and doing nothing much.

The great sage once said, “To live a meaningful life, choose meaningful goals.! “

Now I hear the many people who on a regular basis ask me the question, “Why on earth do you get up at 6am and go running?’

Have a great day.

This blog is linked to my other. Homeward Bound.


  1. I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder, whether something is meaningless or not. To the gulls and the dog, there was great satisfaction in attacking intruders who threatened their space. And I suppose chasing one's own tail might carry some sort of meaning too, although I don't know what it could be. Your daily run is CERTAINLY very meaningful, in that it sets the course of your day in a positive way, but more than that, as a daily regimen it sustains your life and well-being, both physically and mentally. I don't think anybody can tell somebody else that what they are doing is meaningless. We all have our way of bringing meaning to our lives.Thanks for the thought-provoking post! HAve a good walk this afternoon!

  2. any day communing with nature..or being attacked by it should be considered a good day!!! My sister and I saw "The Birds" by Hitchcock when we were this day she is afraid to see birds circling overhead!!! I was dive bombed by some bats the other night...actually they were after insects but it was thrilling!!!

  3. Often, people pursue goals that SEEM to be meaningful but leave them with ashes in their mouths when they achieve them. What makes a goal meaningful? And, do you always know when the reward will be ashes? I think it takes a wise person to discern the difference