The other day, as I was out on a mission, I bumped into three people. They had all been given things to do by their boss who had gone away travelling. The first of the three was sitting by a river with a huge mountain of cold baked beans and a pair of binoculars. When he wasn’t eating his supply of cold beans, he was looking off into the distance through the binoculars, and when he wasn’t doing that he was busy twiddling his thumbs. He had got the twiddling to a fine art, making various patterns at various speeds. It was fascinating. He said he was being ready for the boss’s return. That was the important thing. To wait and watch. So that’s what he was doing.
The next person appeared to be doing whatever she pleased. She said the boss was travelling and not coming back and so what was the point? Best just to do whatever.
The third person was on the move. I had to hurry to keep up. Apparently they were on their way to collect shopping for a neighbour, and after that they were going to call an old aunt for a daily chat, and then send a couple of emails to friends who were struggling. She said she was sure the boss would be back soon and in the meantime there were things to do. I found myself hoping they would find time to rest too.
On my way back I saw lots of others, doing all kinds of things according to their personalities and abilities; some were confident, some cautious; some stronger, some weaker; some confused and worried, some clearsighted and focussed. From time to time some of them paused and looked off into the distance… waiting, wondering. As I wandered past the river again, back to report my findings, I noticed that the first person had dozed off with their binoculars in hand and their head lolling to one side on the huge pile of beans. Their hair was turning slowly orange.
When I reached the boss he was on his way back. He didn’t seem surprised by the various tales I had to tell.