Food for Thought

New York to LA

A man told three people that they were to travel across the country from New York to Los Angeles.

The first individual packed a carry on suitcase, headed to LaGuardia airport, bought a ticket from the Delta Airlines counter, took off his shoes for TSA, and arrived at LAX about 4 hours later. He spent a few days sightseeing before reporting to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The second individual was terrified of flying so he hopped in his boat, made his way along the coast, enduring storms, flat seas, mountain-high waves, and all kinds of trouble with the watercraft. He stopped at numerous unique villages from South Carolina, to Mexico; made his way through the Panama Canal, speaking with captains and freighters from all around the world. Next, he traveled around the Baja, before pulling himself into the port of Los Angeles.

The third individual couldn’t afford a flight and had never learned to swim, so she climbed on her bike, and peddled across the nation. She stopped at numerous tiny communities, endured all kinds of weather, climbed through the mountains, learned to repair her bike using impromptu methods, developed survival skills by camping, building a fire, and cooking what she could find. She even spent some days riding with others with whom she created life-long friendships and improved her physical health on her journey.  She concluded the ride by crossing the Napa valley, riding along the CA-1, and riding into downtown LA.

All three individuals arrived safely and documented their journey with a diary describing their experiences.

When the man met back up with the three individuals and learned of their travels, only the man whose arrival was most timely was given credit for his journey. The others were told they took too long. When presented with their diaries, which documented everything they had learned and all they had overcome to arrive, they were told that none of what they had experienced was relevant to the task at hand. And, because it took them so long, they needed to return to New York and try again.

Without knowing all of the details about the nature and outcomes of the trips, in your opinion…

  • which individual was successful?
  • which individual is more likely to continue their travels?
  • which individual learned the most?
  • what was the goal of the trip?