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Answered 2014-11-28 08:53:15

The Laggard, The Lapper

Broadcast on every television in every land, the race would crown the fastest miler in the world.

The contestants lined up on the track.

The stadium roared.

The starting pistol fired, and instantly the racers leapt into motion.

But then, in all the homes, pubs, and sports bars across the globe, the images and sounds of the race winked out -- and roars of frustration bellowed from those places that day, mingled with a faint announcer's voice, "Due to a technical difficulty..."

For agonizing minutes, none except those in attendance at the very event knew what was happening in the race.

Then the satellite image was restored, still without audio.

Back to the world's eyes appeared the silent vista of a tight pack of runners -- with one lone runner loping far, far behind.

As the camera zoomed in on the laggard, laughter filled the homes, pubs and sports bars -- with yells of, "How did that pathetic runner get in this race?!"

The crowds jeered even more as the laggard fell further and further behind the pack of world-class runners straining for dominance -- and jeered most of all when the laggard simply threw up his hands, stopped and walked off the track, instead of following the others into their final lap.

Only at that moment did the audio come back on.

And only when they heard the laggard runner sob and wave to an insanely cheering crowd, did the now hushed peoples of the world understand.

The "laggard" had nearly lapped all the others.

Thus, running behind others means you are much slower -- or much faster.

from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014, by Frank H. Burton.

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