Please note: If you like the content on this page, many of the pieces on this site have been edited, updated, merged, consolidated, or entirely rewritten (as necessary) for inclusion into my new book series (which also features entirely new content).
Because shit happens and life isn’t always easy — and if you focus on it, it may be all you see, but there’s always so much more to the world than that.
And sometimes we need these experiences to help us see — or remind us of — this fact.
When things aren’t going well, it might just mean you’re in the process of learning or being reminded of something important.
Whenever life presents you with a challenge, remind yourself, “There is a lesson in this.” and realize that it will likely not become evident until after the experience has passed. Because most of life’s lessons are not labeled as lessons until one has learned what they’ve had to teach.
I’ve been sitting in my car in the gym parking lot for over an hour with my laptop plugged in while also listening to the car stereo.
I go to start my car, but the battery is dead. I drained it (as I have been known to do).
I am standing in the gym parking lot next to my car while holding jumper cables. I feel fortunate this happened in this location because there is a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
I have been standing in the parking lot holding jumper cables for over 10 minutes while people drive or walk by without making eye contact. Some pass as close as 10 feet away, but it is obvious people are too busy or too absorbed in their own lives to help.
I’m beginning to wonder how long I will wait. And I admit, I begin to think there is a problem with the people here. I don’t see kindness in the people passing.
In contrast, both times this happened while I was staying somewhere else last year, the first people to see me were also the first to offer to help.
Today, this is far from the case — and, if I’m frank, I’m not only not feeling particularly good about the people in this area, I’m having doubts about the human race.
Me, the optimist, I’ve let this experience get to me.
An older Latina woman walks to her car 3 spaces from mine and gets in — at first I think she’s going to drive away, but she rolls down her window and asks if I could use some help.
Her smile is infectious.
My car is started.
The whole jump starting process took less than 4 minutes — most of that time taken up explaining how to jumpstart a car, as the woman insisted I teach her.
We part ways smiling.
I arrive at the local cafe I like to work at. I grab my laptop bag from my car, but cannot locate my new coffee travel mug. I think I left it here last night.
Oh well. That sucks.
I walk into the cafe. All the tables near outlets are taken.
I set down my laptop bag at one of the tables that are free.
The kind older couple that I’ve mentioned before see me and wave me over.
Although they are in the middle of drinking their coffee, they insist I take the table they are sitting at — which has an outlet.
It’s nice there are people like this in the world.
I’m in the process of setting up my laptop when one of the staff walks over and puts my travel mug down on the table.
“We found this last night.”
After cleaning out my travel mug, I walk up to the cashier to get coffee.
“Just the coffee?”
“You can just go ahead,” he says, pointing at the coffee, “It’s on us today.”
I smile, “THANK YOU.”
And as I take my first sip of coffee, I am reminded that all these acts of kindness just happened in the same place I was ready to give up on minutes earlier.
And I realize there is a lesson in this.