Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

I’m tired. Almost always. I am tired of being fearful and doubtful and agitated and losing at every turn in life. Maybe it didn’t have to be that way.

Last night I can home from Batangas (98 miles away) on a bus. Usually I drive. And traffic last night was horrible. Friday payday night. What should have taken “only” three hours became a five hour sit-in. But I was on a bus. A new and comfortable air conditioned bus with a nice movie to watch. I also had a good book. So there I sat. In my mind cringing and cursing at the horrible traffic outside, half imagining how bad it would have been were I behind the wheel of my own truck. Meanwhile, the driver was calmly easing the bus through the traffic while the conductor calmly and politely announced the stops. That entailed, every now and then, the bus’s having to make its way to the outer lane. In that dense crawling traffic, through the other vehicle on that lane. The justifiable lane changing for disembarking passenger happened frequently.

But the world did not end, not on this fine evening for the driver and his conductor. Meanwhile, I was suffering hell. The difference? Those guys didn’t sweat it, if they even thought about it. Me, though I was physically in an even better spot since I was just seated and not driving, but I might as well have been driving my own truck.


Didn’t these guys know enough to be royally pissed off at the government of the Philippines? Didn’t they know that it was somebody else’s responsibility for them to have clear and passable roadways? Didn’t they know that that somebody or somebodies had failed them, us, and now — dear heaven — we were trapped in who knows what level of Dante’s roadway inferno and suffering for what someone else had done or failed to do? (SCREAM! TEAR HAIR OUT IN HANDSFUL!)

But no. It wasn’t the traffic. And it sure wasn’t them. They were cool as cucumbers. It was just me. In my head.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
 — Victor Frankl