What an escalator in a subway taught me…

All of us have heard about philosophies that tell us how ‘failure is the stepping stone for success’, ‘fall, get up and move forward and you will reach your goals’ etc.

Have you ever experienced any of these quotes in real life? Has a situation happened to you that validated these sayings?

I just did a few days back, and how. I was going to meet my friends that afternoon. I had to cross a street at one point, and since there was a lot of traffic, I decided to use the subway.

Just as I was exiting the subway, I saw two escalators. One going up, the other coming down. And a thought struck me. I had never gone on an escalator going in the opposite direction! Doing this is totally not advisable in the metro stations and malls, what with all the cameras and security guards with their eagle eyes looking to feed on us trouble makers’ wallets.

So, I had never done this. And here was an amazing opportunity, in a secluded subway, with no cameras or peeping Toms around. I decided to go for it.

Up I began to climb on the escalator that was coming down. Initially, it was easy. “Just like walking on a treadmill!”, I thought to myself. I increased my pace and began climbing up the steps.

“This is so easy.” I continued to think dismissively as I went up with great pace. “I can easily finish this.”

I reached the top, the place where the steps just begin to form. This was tricky. I began to wait for the right opportunity to move forward. 5 seconds…10 seconds…15 seconds…

It did not come. And in the spur of the moment, I decided to jump ahead. I stepped on the edge of a step that was forming and–


I fell, and rolled down a couple of steps. Damn, that hurts. But that was not my biggest concern. I quickly stood up, dusted and rubbed myself and looked to see if anyone saw me fall. “Phew! No one is around.”

I began climbing up again, this time with greater intensity and purpose. “I can’t not do this. That would be horrible. I can do this! Come on!” I thought to myself.

I reached that spot again, at the top of the escalator. This time, I decided to continue walking up, and not pay attention to the steps that were forming. “Just walk fast, and put your feet in the middle of the steps.” I said to myself. And in 2 seconds, I was out! I had reached the top!

Happiness comes from good judgement. Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

Bad judgement? The decision to jump.

Experience? Falling pretty badly.

The consequent good judgement? Continuing to walk and not jump.

And I experienced the happiness of achievement, however small and seemingly insignificant this one was.

I did a little dance after getting off the escalator, straightened my jacket and began walking towards Starbucks, with a hint of a smile on my lips…


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