• In both the airport and life, avoid the ‘saunter middle’

    The directions on the moving walkway are clear. (Photo by Patrick Coleman)

    The directions on the moving walkway are clear. (Photo by Patrick Coleman)

    Patrick Coleman
    I was a journalist in a previous life and have done a fair amount of traveling to cover events. Many of those trips have been by air, and several of them with one particular colleague, Keith McMillan.

    One day as Keith and I were hustling to make a flight, we were stuck on a moving walkway behind a traveler with a different sense of urgency. This prompted Keith to say: “Walk left or stand right. I don’t care which you do, but don’t saunter middle!”

    While that’s great advice for anyone headed for their gate, it’s even more important as a guide to live by. We are presented with many opportunities to grab life by proverbial horns and run with it. Whether you’re traveling to make a big sale for your company, or keep a valued client happy, or cover the big game, do so with drive and purpose.

    The moving walkways are here to accelerate those of us who are already moving, who already know the path to take. If you don’t know where you’re going, or aren’t particularly focused on getting somewhere, a moving walkway can take you along for a ride.

    If you’re going to allow someone or something to move you, make sure it’s the right thing. Too often we take the easy way out; we hop on and ride out to who knows where.

    Other times we are placed on a track that we may not have chosen, whether it’s by a supervisor or a family member or unfortunate circumstance. I would say in those instances, too, Walk Left, even if the destination is undesirable. The sooner you get to the destination, the sooner you can change directions and start on a new path.

    To all those starting on new paths, or searching for new paths to start from, I say, do not Stand Right, and never, ever Saunter Middle.