Walk and be happy
“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” — Charles Dickens
When I think about it, I’m surprised that this quote came from Charles Dickens. It sounds more like something we’d hear from Dr. Oz. I have this idea that during the years Dickens lived, people didn’t have much choice but to walk, unless they were wealthy enough to have horse-drawn carriages. I also wonder what Dickens and his contemporaries would have considered to be a long walk, or for that matter, what they would have thought of as a long life. I’m not sure what the average life expectancy was during those years, but Dickens wasn’t much older than I am now when he died. I wonder if he took his own advice.
In any case, I agree with what he says here. “Steadily and with a purpose” doesn’t necessarily imply going somewhere practical such as the post office or grocery store, although I find it especially satisfying if I can exercise and save gasoline at the same time. Often, my purpose is to clear my mind, enjoy a cool summer evening, or take some photos. Since I always seem to be short on time, the “steadily” part takes care of itself.
What are your favorite reasons for walking? Whatever they are, I hope that health and happiness are among the destinations you reach on foot!