Slippery Slopes

The wise in any foreign country seek a true guide.

- Hafiz 

We all live in a mountain range called, "Slippery Slopes." Everywhere we look and almost anywhere we go, we find ourselves climbing, hiking, ascending, descending somewhere in slimy smooth hills. 

And there are names for many of the slopes. There's the Greed Gradient, Sarcasm Slant, Inconsiderate Incline, Selfish Slope, Haughty Hill, Narrow-Minded Knoll, Materialistic Mound, Finicky Foothill, Biased Bluff, Belligerent Butte and Mount Miserly. All slippery slopes. All tricky to navigate. All presenting the distinct possibility for you to lose your balance, lose your footing, lose your confidence, lose your self-respect, lose your integrity.

When we were kids, we were sometimes warned that marijuana was a slippery slope. Likewise a lie. Or cheating in school. But it didn't take us long to realize that life is up to its nose hairs in slippery slopes, and finding our footing is not always the easiest. Sometimes, we trip, slip and fall. And, most of the time, the results ain't pretty.               

But, it's where we live - all of us. And, knowing that we all live in these hills and all fall at one time or another, 'twould make a good case for spending a little time each day helping someone get up and get back on their way.


Howard is head-over-heels in the season of weddings.  This weekend at 6:00 a.m., he'll be up in a hot air balloon over the mountains of Western North Carolina celebrating the wedding of Elizabeth and Marshall.  For Howard, it's both an exhilarating and humbling experience to be within inches of a couple declaring their love and promises to each other.  Though he admits that champagne is not so appealing at sunrise, Howard is clear that he loves his job.