Take a Moment Today to be Grateful

I’ll tell you how 15 minutes opened my eyes…

On my drive into work today I noticed that traffic had gotten backed up as it sometimes does at a certain point of my commute where one highway merges onto another. As I got closer to the source of the traffic jam, I knew it could not be good. Several smashed up cars, emergency, and police vehicles all lined the shoulder. But one thing I saw really stuck with me.

Seeing the damage from the crash, it looked like there could have been some very serious injuries involved. Five minutes earlier I was complaining to myself how I was already late for work and this delay was just another problem that I didn’t need to deal with today. Then I saw something that changed my whole perspective of things; a man was holding his small child but with such a loving, fatherly embrace that it made me both sad and happy all in the same instant. I was sad to see this family having to deal with this crisis, but happy to see that the child was ok and in the arms of his loving father. (I am only assuming it was his father but even if not, it was clear that this person was close to the child.)

I then found myself feeling a bit guilty for being so annoyed that this accident held me up. That man holding his child was probably so grateful to be able to walk out of that accident with his child, unharmed. What is 15 minutes of my time even worth when you look at the big picture? A person could have lost their life in those 15 minutes, yet I was more concerned over being slightly late to my job. It made me realize how petty it is to even think twice about 15 minutes and a slight inconvenience in the full scope of things.

I am grateful that I even have a car; some people don’t. I am grateful that I was on my way to a job that I enjoy; most people dislike their jobs and there are other people that may not even have jobs. I am grateful for the myriad of other things that I have taken for granted lately because I get so caught up in a moment or overwhelmed with the stresses of every day. I am grateful that I made it to work safely, whether or not it was on time or 15 minutes late, I can’t let myself stress over little things like that anymore.

So next time I get frustrated about someone “inconveniencing” me , I hope that I can remember this day. This 15 minute delay slowed down my life long enough to teach me a valuable lesson in humanity and compassion, and for that, I am very grateful.

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