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Crossroads of the Marine Corps

Roller coaster or lazy river

16 Jul 2015 | Lt. Robert Bailey, CHC, USN Marine Corps Base Quantico

When one thinks of a roller coaster, what comes to mind? Is it the fast speeds, twists and loops, being in the front or back, or maybe the hanging from your seat and not sitting? I love to ride roller coasters of all types and can still remember the adrenaline rush I would get from the experience.

Roller coasters affect people in different ways. Some people are scared of them. Some people are timid. Some people get sick after riding them. Some love the rush.

The lazy river is as opposite to the roller coaster as you can get. It conjures images up in my mind of floating around on a tube, quietness, enjoyable conversations, and relaxation. There are no adrenaline rushes and very few people get sick on this ride. Most of the time the lazy river is packed with people all wanting the same thing — peacefulness.

As I look at society today, I can still see a lot of what I went through as a young adult. There are those people that live for the adrenaline rushes of life and want to be the attraction in life. They are those that are the, “life of the party.” You know who I am talking about and maybe it is you. They want to be a thrill a minute.

One thing we do not realize with this lifestyle and mentality is how it affects those around us. We may make some people sick by our actions or scare them away. There will be those few that will stay with us just for the thrills we bring. And last, but not least, there are those that will stay with us until the next thrill comes around. These people are always going to something bigger, faster, and more exciting.

I have learned that living a life of a lazy river is more fulfilling. You will have people that want to just be around you. They will want to feel at peace in your presence, hold an enjoyable conversation, and go away relaxed and rejuvenated.

Which do you desire to be?

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