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Archive for August 2nd, 2020

Years ago I read a story that has stayed with me ever since, re-surfacing whenever my subconscious decides that I need to be reminded of what it has to teach me … again.

It is the story of a man with two children on a train. On the voyage, the man sat in his seat, staring out the window, stone silent. His children, of primary school ages, were loud, disruptive to all around. Many people whispering, pointing, throwing stares and attitude. They were disgusted with the irresponsibility of this father. One woman, in particular, was quite put out by this man’s lack of care for his children and the effect their bad behavior was having on all around. She was heard by all (seemingly except for the father) making statements of disgust.

When the train reached it’s destination, all disembarked.

The woman, who had been particularly bothered by the children’s behaviors and the father’s lack of response to them, was greeted by her sister. Her sister was standing beside an older couple, who excused themselves when they saw who they were picking up.

The sister explained they were picking up their son-in-law and his two children. Their daughter had recently died and they were taking in the children for a time, while their father, distraught over his wife’s death, was struggling to care for them.

We do not always see the reality of circumstances from the place we are currently standing.

I have certainly been that woman, bothered by what I perceived to be lack of responsibility or bad behavior. I have rolled my eyes, made judgements, shook my head, made comments to others. In short, I have responded under the guidance of what I perceive.

But, I have also been distraught, heartbroken, felt that the ground beneath me has given away. In those times, no matter the mask I might have placed over my face, I have probably been irresponsible, ill behaved.

This is a lesson that I am thankful resurfaces in my mind, for it reminds me of my limited perspective, my inability to see the whole picture, my lack of scope.

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