And Then I Saw

Snowstorms raced across the country. We were in Chicago trying to return to Dayton my non-English-speaking Japanese colleague and me. Airline tickets were paper. There were no apps, no instant updates, no easy phone calls for frequent fliers.

There was only the queue.

Weather is the ultimate leveler. It doesn’t matter who you are or whether you are traveling on foot, bicycle, auto, or airplane. You will be disrupted. Sounds like an idea for a TV channel (wish I’d have had that idea back then!).

As I listened to person after person complaining about how the weather inconvenienced them, how it was “all about me”, I suddenly saw myself. There I was in the queue with my colleague, next up for the agent. And I saw the entire scene. And I understood.

We go to the counter. I smile. “Tough day, isn’t it? How can we get to Dayton?” I could see myself dealing with tact and humility and kindness.

And we calmly transacted business in the midst of chaos.

Self-observation and awareness. They bring a spiritual order to otherwise stressful days.

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