Rain falling by the buckets. Wet, slippery roads. Snarled traffic inching along for miles for some reason I never determined. Darkness falling rapidly. Throw in 50 miles of road construction for good (or bad) measure. Now you have a recipe for frustration and tense muscles. That's what I faced as I returned home a couple nights ago from a long weekend.
By the time I neared my house, I was so ready to be out of the car and stretch my aching arms, legs and back. But just a block from my home, traffic came to a halt and I saw several flashing lights from police cars and emergency vehicles. As I felt my stress rising even more at the thought of sitting in my car even longer and not getting home soon, it occurred to me that several people's lives may have just been profoundly changed by whatever happened just ahead of me.
I still don't know details of the accident other than that it was a head-on collision. But I can imagine. I sent up several prayers for whoever was involved as well as for the emergency responders. The whole situation gave me a different perspective. Suddenly my stress seemed insignificant. I did get home safely. Whoever was in those two cars probably had a totally different outcome, however. At the very least their cars were likely ruined or at least badly damaged. Judging from all the emergency vehicles, it must have been far worse than that.
Perspective. It's always good to keep a perspective on things, isn't it? It's easy to get caught up in the everyday drama of our lives and not get the larger view of what's happening around us. But what a difference it makes. It doesn't mean we should diminish our own stress, sadness or feelings. It just means we should enlarge our view to include people all around us and across the globe.