Photo: Kseniya Resphoto/Shutterstock

Silly Walks: How Do You Get Where You're Going?

by Austin Yoder Jun 21, 2013

Humanity has placed one sole directly in front of the other, stepping from place to place, without innovation, bored, since we first stood up erect.

Walking — Jesus, Caesar, Napoleon, Gandhi, Bush, Princess Diana.

You, and me.

Step by step.

That is, of course, until John Cleese.

This short video clip, social commentary aside, has served as a source of laughter and inspiration to me since the first time I watched it together with my father, a little over 10 years ago. As Cleese duck-waddles, meanders, bobbles, and roll-steps across the screen, like a cross between a penguin on LSD and a cha-cha maestro, he compels us to think twice about how we get to where we’re going.

We take it for granted that the way we’re used to getting around is the best way to do so, though that may not necessarily be the case. Teddy Roosevelt encouraged his children to get from A to B in a totally straight line, regardless of what obstacles they had to climb over or dig under — a game he called “expeditioneering.”

Free runners like David Belle strive to inspire people to think about moving in a non-linear fashion through a given landscape, making use of whatever is in their path to get to their end point more efficiently.

Sometimes it pays to rethink the things we take for granted, even if only to make people laugh or to laugh at ourselves.

The question I leave you with today is: Where are you trying to get to right now, and is there a better, more creative, more efficient way you can get there?

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