How to Walk

We have forgotten how to walk. All we do is go places.

A proper walk doesn’t have a destination. Gwyn Thomas put it this way,

“But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.”

Toddler walking

Those who truly walk don’t sweat. Lacing up walking shoes during lunch is exercise, not walking. Walking is meandering and kicking stones.

Bad walks reflect what you’re escaping, they’re fast, pushing, even angry. But you can’t stay angry and stroll at the same time.


I’ve fallen out of the habit of walking with leaders. Now I sit and sip, rather than walk. I’ve forgotten that breakthroughs sneak up from behind while you walk.

Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

But, people who never walk, feed on old thought like vultures.

A walk without pauses isn’t a walk. When you really walk, you stop and gawk. You point. Wonder finds those who know how to walk. The rest of us understand the mechanics. We’ve lost the mystery.

“It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.” Ernest Hemingway


I remembered the walk I took with my wife, before her visit with our daughter and grandchildren in Lancaster, PA. She was gone overnight. The day before she left, we held hands and walked over the hill and back. I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember how good it felt.

Grownups say, “Hurry up.” But, children know how to walk. They forget where they’re going. Children say, “Look! A dead worm! Isn’t this rock pretty? Why is the sidewalk cracked?”


Could you give yourself 20 minutes a week to walk – but not go anywhere? If you’re fortunate, you’ll remember the purpose of a real walk is just taking it.