jack walks down the street

jack walks down the street, whistling to himself. he turns left. there is a sign somewhere. he walks further down that street. he makes another turn, to the right. there is another sign, “dead end street”. whistle, whistle, whistle. he keeps on walking. another sign that proclaims, “this is a dead end street!” whistle, whistle, yeah, okay, it’s a dead end street. jack keeps up a brisk pace. another sign, “this is a dead end street with a big, nasty brick wall!!”

big, nasty brick wall, huh? interesting. he thinks about that a little bit, still whistling, still marching on, his arms swinging, his legs eating the pavement like there’s no tomorrow. he takes a moment out of his busy walking and whistling and generally moving like he was going to ram the world like a tank, he takes a moment to look up, and sure enough, there is a big, nasty brick wall almost right in front of him. well, no reason to slow down, is there?


bad story, you probably think. that was predictable at least 1/3 of the way through!



and you know what? it’s not as if jack doesn’t know that story, either. he’s been down that road, oh gosh, i don’t know how many times. it’s predictable – and yet it happens over and over again.
this is jack’s version of the famous “i walk down the street” poem (an autobiography in five chapters, by portia nelson)

remember when we were talking about writing our own story, a while back?

we have a choice now.

we can interpret jack’s story any old way we want. we can say, geesh, what an idiot, this jack. we can say, jack has a big problem, and he needs to go get fixed.

if we say, “what an idiot”, we condemn him. if we say “he needs to get fixed”, in a way we also condemn him: to reach for an unattainable state of perfection.

another reaction could be to congratulate jack on his strength and perseverance – after all, with all these smacks in the head, lots of others would have given up. not jack! no, he’s still willing to go down the road – heck, any road at all! we could try and learn from his willingness to get up and keep walking.

we could also get it that jack is our brother, or maybe, that he’s us, ourselves. we could walk up to him, sit beside him as he holds his head, offer him an aspirin, and walk with him. and maybe, just maybe, next time there is a sign that says “dead end”, we’ll have two heads, and one of us can nudge the other and say, “hey, wasn’t there a sign just now? wanna go back and check what it says?”

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

8 thoughts on “jack walks down the street

  1. Pamm

    Ummmm…why is this sounding so VERY familiar???? hehehehehe….except sometimes I feel I am banging my head on that brick wall…why wait for one to fall on my head?

    Thanks for this.

  2. Jessica Doyle

    Hey, thanks for the link and telling me about Jack’s Story. Nice.

    I’ve read it and it’s great. I’m in flux right now with moving Back-East to New Brunswick. 4 more days then Missy (cat) and I fly out.

    I’ll be online though. Talk to you soon.

  3. Lee

    Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sure I’m going to smack into that wall. It can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Fighting old patterns is hard! But success, oh that is worth it. 🙂 Thanks for this!


    Lee’s last blog post..Kitty Pics!

  4. isabella mori

    hi lee – fighting old patterns – i wonder what it would look like if we approached this from a martial arts perspective? hmmm, there’s a whole series of blog posts in there … thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Weight Loss Products

    this story seemed to be a lot like most Americans and their bad habits, with food, money and time. They see the signs of problems but ignore them, the run into brick walls and wonder why or how they got there. Then they keep walking “to their own tune” down the road of health problems, lack and defeat not having a clue of how easy it is to change. Go read the signs, anotherwards, get the information to steer you in the right direction. Stop eating crap, stop spending your money on junk and go invest it, etc, etc…


  6. Goji Berry Juice Girl

    What a great story! I like the take on it of how he kept perservering, never afraid of “failing”, or running into the dead end, or brick wall, so to speak.

    In my opinion, the fastest road to success is never being afraid to fail. The most successful are usually those who, in their lives, have failed the most. The fact they keep trying is what eventually leads them to success.

  7. isabella mori

    “weight loss products” and “goji berry juice girl” – please, next time you comment, leave your name. you are most welcome to leave your URL in the signature but using those names sounds horribly spammy.

    goji berry gal, what you say is something that i’ve come across over and over in the last few weeks. it’s how many times you try again that counts, not how many times you fail. and … it’s extremely difficult for us to really internalize it.

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