And now the time has come when I must ask myself am I a man or a moose?
No, that’s not a typo. I really do mean “moose” and I’ll tell you why.
Many years ago I watched a TV news report that described how an alarming number of moose where being killed by freight trains in Alaska.
The moose were walking on the railroad tracks to avoid struggling through the deep snow, which seemed logical, but they weren’t getting out of the way of oncoming trains, which seemed crazy.
The poor moose couldn’t grasp that their lives were quite literally on the line--even as the trains were bearing down on them.
The news crew actually filmed one of these tragic encounters and while the footage thankfully did not show a moose meeting its maker, it did feature the unmistakable sound of a body being struck by a massive object.
I remember being quite amazed at just how dense the moose were. Here’s this mile-long line of railroad cars coming straight at them and they made no attempt to save themselves.
I felt badly—and I still do—about this senseless slaughter, but I found it nearly impossible to believe that any animal on God’s snowy earth could ever be that clueless.
This was the worst thing to come out of Alaska since Sarah Palin, who should probably avoid train tracks, too.
Questions and Antlers
A lot of time has passed since that news report and, as I take stock of my current employment situation and make plans for the future, I find my thoughts drifting back to those poor moose blindly blundering to their deaths for the sake of an easier walk.
It pains me to admit this, but I’m starting to see some eerie and disturbing similarities between me and my four-legged brethren.
There have been far too many times in both my career and personal life where I have faced some very serious problems, but refused to acknowledge their existence—until it was too late.
You could almost hear the thud as the freight train of life ran right over me.
I’ve been upset, dissatisfied, and downright miserable with so many jobs that I’ve held, but did I make any serious attempt to turn things around, move on, or get the hell out? Why, no, I didn’t.
And the same applies to any number of personal relationships. Either I or my partner—or both of us—were extremely unhappy, but, once again, I took no action and my butt wound up on the cowcatcher.
There’s obviously some serious denial going on, a chronic refusal to acknowledge reality. And I am much too eager to dive headfirst into the comfort zone.
The zone may suck hairy moose balls, but at least it’s familiar, and I don’t have to worry about doing anything different—until the choo-choo chews me up and spits me out.
Ignoring the warning signs in love or work won’t make your problems go away. It’ll just guarantee that your head winds up on somebody’s wall.
I hope the moose finally figure out that they're in mortal danger. As for myself, I’m going to keep my ear to the tracks and get out of the way long before the train shows up.