Our driver today reminded me that life has a way of throwing us bumps and roadblocks. And, it is in the way that we respond to them that determines the outcome of our existence.
He was from Sierra Leone and we had an insightful and impact filled visit as we drove. He talked of the war torn and politically corrupt country of 8 million that he had fled from and how he longed to go back to make it a better place. He talked of his desire to help the orphans and has already acquired land to house them on. We talked about the bumps life throws at us…the obstacles that make life just a little harder and he reminded me that we have to jump over each and every roadblock, obstacle and bump to keep moving and learning and thriving.
It’s easy to fall into that ‘”woe is me” mode and feel sorry for the trials and pain we have to face in life. He could have easily done that but he chose to turn his bumps and obstacles into a dream to someday return to his native country and make it a better place.
He talked of my obstacles (the obvious ones he could see, not the hidden one that seems to try to run my life) and reminded me of the life I had lived already and the lives I had impacted in a positive way. We talked of my kids and he again reminded me of the blessings I had given them simply by seeing the world the way I do. He reminded me that not everyone sees the world that way….not everyone puts being kind and compassionate at the forefront of each day. He reminded me that I must continue to jump over every bump, every obstacle, and every roadblock, grab the lesson to be learned and continue on.
He came into my presence today and made a huge impact on me as he described the trials he had been dealt. He did this and all the while his face and his words were expressing how blessed he was for the valuable lesson he received with each bump. His voice was filled with joy and gratitude. He had turned all those obstacles he faced into triumphs and dreams to be filled. He is filled with hope for a better world and a better future and he seems to be striving for that each and every day through all the ups and downs and the pain and the tragedies.
As a side note, when I start to feel overwhelmed by pain or the difficulties I have faced or am facing, I think of the man whose body overcame him, ridden by disease, and held him there in a prison like state. It took him over but he wouldn’t let it take over his mind and with that, he left an amazing impact on the world. His name was Dr. Stephen Hawking. And, whenever life gets a little rough and I start to say “why me”, why can’t I just have a normal life, I think of this man, I think of my brother who never asked why me, and I think of the many people dealing with horrific diseases but still manage to bring good, joy, and happiness to the world.
I am so excited that I got to meet my driver today, on International Happiness Day as he was a great reminder to keep overcoming and to keep bringing HAPPINESS AND JOY to this world of ours no matter how we feel because there is always someone going through a much greater tragedy than you are.
And, as Bob Marley says…..”be happy”.
Footnote: This was actually scheduled to publish on International Happiness Day but it didn’t publish so here it is now 🙂 I hope ya’ll can still enjoy it.