Unexpected Lessons

Linda LaitalaLeadership, ManagementLeave a Comment

Brenda and her family were finally able to take their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska.  They flew to Anchorage, spent a few days in Denali and boarded a bus headed toward the cruise that would complete their adventure.

The first few days of the trip exceeded their expectations, but as is sometimes the case, unforeseen events upset their well-planned trip.

On the bus ride to the cruise ship, all traffic came to a sudden stop.  Cook Inlet was on their right and the mountains on the left.  Traffic in both directions was at a standstill.

The bus driver learned that there had been a terrible accident ahead involving several vehicles.  Some people were transported by helicopter with serious injuries, some died at the scene.

After the first hour, passengers on the bus started getting anxious.  How long would they be delayed?  Kids were getting hungry; people were upset and worried.  What if they missed the ship?

Brenda realized that the universe had sent her a test.  She could pick up the mood of the crowd, or she could choose a different path.  So, she decided to;

Accept what is

They didn’t know if they would miss the cruise ship.  They were tired, hungry, bored and their cell phones didn’t work.  But what good would it do to whine and complain?  They were allowed to get off the bus, so Brenda and her family used the opportunity to meet the other passengers.

Practice gratitude

After a few hours, wreckers drove by carrying the crushed vehicles back to Anchorage.  One car was flattened, another had its roof missing. Awful.  Her family said prayers for the people who had been in the vehicles and gave thanks they were merely stalled in traffic.  None of those people expected their day would end this way.

Remain calm

As the hours passed people became more hungry, thirsty and impatient.  Fortunately, there was a working restroom on the bus.  She and her family continued to keep their spirits up, passing that attitude to the other passengers.  They heard stories about passengers on other buses threatening and cursing at the drivers.  No one did that on their bus – another reason to be grateful.

Before dark, the driver told the passengers that the cruise line was holding the boat because eleven buses were caught in the traffic jam.  There was indeed nothing to worry about.

When Brenda and her family got to the cruise ship about midnight, there was a sumptuous buffet ready for all the late arrivals.

We can learn from every situation: the end result may be much different than we imagine.

The Coronavirus is teaching us new lessons every day – about ourselves and the people we work with.  Things often aren’t as bad as they seem.  There is much beyond our control.  But when we control the things we can and stay calm, we are more open to opportunities and can use our energy and resources more constructively.

The road is easier together,

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