Stick with me for this one. It's wisdom that took me a while to get. How long? About 18 years. It's also going to take a rather long explanation.  


What you're looking at there are a comic book I used to own, 18 years ago, and my breakfast today. 

The breakfast is a piece of toast with lingonberry jam, and a green grape and banana smoothie. 

The comic book is the 1996 annual for Impulse. Impulse is a speedster, the meta human nephew of The Flash. He can run, move, and think thousands of times faster than an ordinary human being.  

He's also a teenager. As you can imagine this is often a terrible combination.

This particular issue is a sort of alternate story, a one shot re-imagining of the character. In it, the character wakes up from a cryogenic sleep on an alien planet, found by a kind man named Kinnock.  

The planet they're on is occupied by aliens. (It looks like a future earth.) The aliens hate it there. They think it's hot, has terrible food,  and that the environment is aggressively damaging to their equipment. 

That is because of the work of Kinnock and his students, who are members of a hidden rebellion.  They slowly wreak havoc on these aliens, sabotaging their systems, ruining their food stores, generally invisibly but steadily ruining their lives. 

They also live a monastic sort of life that allows them to tap into the energy of the speed force, and move at superhuman speed. As you grow in your studies, Kinnock gives you a new name, like Spark, Wisp, or Zephyr.

When Kinnock rescues Bart and brings him to the monastery, he begins to teach him this way.  

Bart, being impulsive (see what I did there?) wants to plow through the studies, and be able to do as Kinnock and the others do. As he starts to learn he also grows impatient with the group. Why not just directly attack the aliens, destroy them? 

Kinnock teaches Bart the true secret of mastering the speed force. "Hurrying is incompatible with going fast."

But the lesson doesn't take. In a fit of frustration, Bart, or Impulse as he is now known, attacks the aliens directly. This leads them directly back to the monastery. They proceed to burn it to the ground, killing everyone inside. 

Or so it appears. Kinnock rescues Impulse yet again, bringing him to another smaller compound, where some of the students still yet live. 

Bart realizes the true power of Kinnock's lesson.  

That's the story, more or less.  If I got a bit of it wrong, hey this was almost 20 years ago.  

What does this have to do with my breakfast?  EVERYTHING. 

When I got up this morning, I was a terrible combination of tired and overwhelmed.

The night before I had accidentally slept through my train stop coming home, resulting in a misadventure that got me stuck in the boonies, and made me take a $30 cab ride to get out of it. I was determined not to repeat that today. 

I got up, and began rushing around to get ready so I wouldn't miss my train. I stumbled over a box, couldn't find one shoe, and started to get frustrated and move even faster.  

Then I remembered Impulse and Kinnock.  

I checked the train schedule, and decided to take a slightly later train. Once I had, I realized I had plenty of time, and relaxed. After that I found my shoe, put that troublesome box into a closet, had time to send some important info to a friend, and even time left over to make myself a really nice, healthy breakfast and drive slowly to the train station, to make it on time for my train.  Hurrying really is incompatible with going fast. 

Kinnock's lesson isn't an original one. I've seen it other places, stated other ways.  The Tao te Ching speaks of it, too. "The soft overcomes the hard."

It's a slow lesson I'm grateful for every time I take the time to hear it. 


AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude