Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Age of Wisdom

Great, succinct reminder of the difference between perspective and point of view was provided to me last night on my drive home from the office. As I was motoring south on Route 287 in full embrace of my somewhat flexible relationship with the posted speed limit, my cell phone buzzed to alert me to the fact that I had a new text message. When I picked the phone up to see the source of the message, I saw that Rob was the sender.

When a young adult f/k/a your "child" is 2/3 of a continent away and living solo, you tend to not delay in acknowledging, reading and responding to (as necessary) communication from him, whether verbal, oral or otherwise (is a text message verbal or oral communication given that while it is something I read and write it is also something I transmit via my cell phone?). So, after turning down the volume on the radio (for reasons that made little sense at the time I did it and - in the soon-to-be light of the new day still seem to be just a tad illogical) I opened my phone and opened Rob's message. Rob is a man of few words (clearly a trait inherited from his mother) but he chose four that delivered his message with unmistakable clarity, "I survived the tornado." Being as obtuse as I am - and having the sweet tooth that I do - my initial reaction to the word "tornado" was (a) an amusement park ride akin to the Cyclone at Coney Island; followed thereafter by (b) a new type of ice cream treat similar to the Blizzard at Dairy Queen. My secondary reaction to reading his message was to type, "?" in response to it.

Remembering apparently the simple-minded rube with whom he was communicating, Rob informed me in his response to my text message that a tornado had graced northern Colorado in the immediate vicinity of Cheyenne Wyoming (a/k/a "the place where Rob works") with its presence yesterday afternoon. I had heard nothing about it. I knew nothing of it until he made me aware of it. While thankfully it appears as if this twister did not lay waste to the ground upon which it touched down or to the people whose presence it touched, it presumably got their attention.

In this space yesterday I lamented the manner in which the occasional vagaries of what I do to earn my living make the doing of what I do more difficult than it otherwise needs to be. And while I stand by what I said, upon further review I feel a bit stupid (even more so than usual) for whining about it. Good lesson for me to remember: when dealing with something that you think is the worst problem in the world, do not look in the mirror. Instead, open a window or a door and poke your head outside taking in the sights and sounds of the world around you. You might indeed be proven correct - you might very well be dealing with the worst problem in the world. On the other hand, you might just be reminded that things could be worse - and for at least one other someone somewhere else, they already are.


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