The Christian Science Sentinel filling its place—and your feedback

It used to be that every afternoon on my way home from work I would pass an office building where I saw a couple of rope handrails stretched out from the entrance to the building. My initial thought was that they seemed to be unnecessary. I never saw anyone using them. The ground around the building was level. The ropes weren't marking a property line or keeping people away from anything. It was clear, however, that whatever their purpose, they were as firmly anchored as anything could be.

Then one day the winds came. Not just the usual breeze or gust, but serious wind. Never in my life had I experienced a wind so strong that I honestly believed at any moment I would be blown off my feet. Also, when winter arrived, the ground would occasionally get icy and very slippery. It was clear why the handrails were there. On extremely windy or icy days, I noticed that when people would exit the office building they would quickly—and very gratefully—grab hold of the rope until they could walk safely. There was wisdom behind having those handrails in their place.

August 28, 1995
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