The Train Ride
Someone told me this story before I moved to San Francisco. I found the original online and it’s worth sharing. Author is unknown.
Life is like a train ride. We get on. We ride. We get off. We get back on and ride some more. There are accidents and there are delays. At certain stops, there are surprises. Some of these will translate into great moments of joy; some will result in profound sorrow.
When we are born and we first board the train, we meet people whom we think will be with us for the entire journey. Those people are our parents!
Sadly, this is far from the truth. Our parents are with us for as long as we absolutely need them. They too have journeys they must complete. We live with the memories of their love, affection, friendship, guidance, and their ever presence.
There are others who board the train and who eventually become very important to us. These people are our brothers, sisters, friends, and acquaintances, whom we will learn to love and cherish.
Some people consider their journey like a jaunty tour. They will just go merrily along. Others will encounter many upsets, tears, losses on their journey. Others still, will linger on to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.
Some people on the train will leave an everlasting impression when they get off. Some will get on and get off the train so quickly, they will scarcely leave a sign they ever travelled along with you or ever crossed your path.
We will sometimes be upset that some passengers, whom we love, will choose to sit in another compartment and leave us to travel on our own. Then again, there is nothing saying we cannot seek them out anyway.
Nevertheless, once sought out and found, we may not even be able to sit next to them because the seat may already be taken.
That is okay, everyone’s journey will be filled with hopes, dreams, challenges, setback, and goodbyes. We must strive to make the best of it, no matter what. We must constantly strive to understand our travel companions and look for the best in everyone.
Remember, at any moment during our journey, any one of our travel companions can have a weak moment and be in need of our help. We too may vacillate or hesitate, even trip, hopefully we can count on someone being there to be supportive and understanding.
The bigger mystery of our journey is we do not know when our last stop will come. Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop. Not even those sitting on the seat next to us.
Personally, I know I will be sad to make my final stop.
My separation from all those friends and acquaintances I made during the train ride will be painful. Leaving all those I am close to will be a sad thing. But then again, I am certain one day I will get to the main station only to meet up with everyone else. They will all be carrying their baggage, most of which they did not have when they first got on this train.
I will be glad to see them again. I will also be glad to have contributed to their baggage and to have enriched their lives, just as much as they will have contributed to my baggage and enriched my life.
We are all on this train ride together. Above all, we should all try to strive to make the ride as pleasant and memorable as we can, right up until the final stop and leave the train for the last time.
All aboard, safe travels!