Standing on the escalator

How often have you been given the advice: “stop and take time to smell the roses” (or something similar)? I know that I keep on telling myself to do just that. And how often you ever stand still (physically)?

Today something happened which surprised me, and made me pause for thought. The office where I work has escalators (that’s moving stairways for anyone not familiar with the term) which join the various levels. As I joined the escalator on the ground floor, I noticed a maintenance man working with an “emergency stop” button, but paid no attention. Normally I walk up the escalator (you know, “always in a hurry”, and in any case you should try walking down an up escalator) but today I just stood there. My excuse is that I was holding a cup of tea and I didn’t want to spill it.

Naturally, I just stood there, and, lost in thought, I waited to reach the next floor. Unexpectedly, suddenly, I found that I was not going up. The feeling was strangely disorientating. Then I felt I shouldn’t be standing there, with all those other people behind me (who were doing exactly the same thing).Of course, what had happened was that the maintenance man had inadvertently stopped the escalator. I don’t know if he pressed the button, or did something else.

The thoughts which this minor incident prompted were:

  • That “standing on the escalator” or similar (in)activities gives a great opportunity to stop and gather your thoughts, and
  • That the sensation I had when the escalator had stopped was most peculiar.

Take time to smell the roses! Or meditate or whatever…