Maddening: Teachable moments


I used to find it very irritating or maddening to have to wait on a train, especially when it would sit there, for several minutes, on the track. One day my mother was in the car with me and noticed how impatient I was when we were stopped by a train on the tracks.  I was in a hurry to get somewhere.

My mother encouraged me to be patient, and that there are certain things that I cannot change or control.  My mother said that actions based on impatience can sometimes lead to negative consequences. “There is no reason for getting angry and “bent out of shape” about the train being on the tracks.”, she said.  ” It is best to just sit and wait.”  We talked some, and before I knew it, the train had past.

I have had a lot of experiences beyond trains to help me become a more patient person. However, I will never forget the time when my mother and I were driving home, weeks after our conversation about being patient,  and saw bodies covered by white sheets on both sides of a train track because the driver thought he could beat the train.  You could see the children’s toys scattered all over. I could not believe what I was seeing.  It validated what my mom told me weeks ago.

Even right now, I wonder where would I be had my mother and I not talked about the importance of being patient.




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