“What do you consider to be more important, the destination you want to reach, or the journey that unfolds along the way?” This is an easy answer on a Sunday afternoon, when one want to unwind by taking a leisure spin with the family and there is time to burn. However, if the situation were to change and like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, one “is late, is late for a very important date” the trip takes on a different complexion altogether. Admitted, there are times to meet destination stress head-on but there are times to push back from the seemingly urgent and embrace the importance of the journey itself. In either case, remembering that a personal choice can be the difference between tyranny of time and the blessing of opportunity.

Time can treat us tyranically if choices are not observed reflectively. In the Tyranny of the Urgent, Charles Hummel addressed our propensity to instinctively react to the demands of the stressful world rather than more thoughtfully weighing other important alternate choices that are available. One can instinctive view many obligations as demanding urgent attention, for example when many seemingly urgent demands can actually wait till a later, giving prescidence to only decisions that are important and urgent. This also clears way for the surfacing of choices that are important but maybe not as urgent as what seems to press upon us. Recognition of the difference between the two types of choices gives the individual important breathing room in what otherwise can appear to be a daily “rat race.”

When we are overwrought in the stress of fulfillment or achievement, we can push back from the desk, the telephone, the steering wheel, or the clock and give ourselves space to observe how we are deciding from among the choices at hand. If we are concerned with what we see, we can “take a moment,” like John Cage, one of the law partners Cage & Fish on the video series Ally McBeal, to see our options more clearly before we continue on our way. Such moments are our right and our choice to offer ourselves the space we need.Learning can be approached from different perspectives. The basic questions for me are do I react or do I interact. I choose to interact with others as I make the choices that shape my life.