Friday, October 10, 2014

The Corners of Hardship and Happiness

Image: A busy intersection, but not the one described!
About a month ago, I drove up to the scene of a traffic accident. I had to sit through a couple of green lights until I was directed through the intersection by an officer. While my car idled, I took in the scene. It made a lasting impression upon me. I realized I was witnessing a true cross-section of human existence.

I'm not sure that words can explain what I saw, but I will try.

The damaged cars were near the corner to my left, through the intersection.  A young man, quite obviously in his teens, was standing beside an old-looking car with the right fender bashed in.  It appeared that the other, expensive looking car had hit this boy's vehicle, possibly as he was turning left after the light had changed to red.  No one involved in the crash seemed physically hurt, although the owner of the nicer car may have been impatient, and the boy appeared upset.

I noticed an older-looking couple waiting for a chance to cross the street on the far-right corner. Their ragged-looking outfits made me assume that they were quite poor - but from their very public display of affection, they seemed happy!

Also waiting to cross, on the corner just to the right of my car, were three people - a small girl, a boy in a stroller, and a man who appeared to be their father.  The boy was bigger than a child you would normally see in a stroller - larger than his sister, in fact.  He was exhibiting some symptoms that suggested a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.  When I first noticed them, the father looked tired. While they waited, however, it appeared the small girl said something to make her father laugh. Then they both leaned in and acted out their joke, to engage the boy.

A police car was parked at the corner to my left, with its lights flashing to warn motorists of the accident. Just as this scene all took root in my mind, the policeman waved me on. I navigated carefully through the partially blocked intersection.

In just the few moments I sat on that corner, I observed all of the following conditions of humanity:


Life is just like that intersection.  

In varying degrees at varying times, we are all on the corners of hardship and happiness.  Sometimes our fate is determined by which corner we turn; sometimes we are forced - or lucky enough - to go a different way than we had planned. Somehow, life works. Especially if an element of order is present, and if we always make sure there is enough love.

Do you agree?

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  1. Awesome - its true what is more amazing is that how you are able to recognize it and link it - goes to show how everything is connected - don't you think?

  2. This is one of the best posts I've ever read! What you witnessed is exactly a small slice of life, with everything on it. What a priceless glimpse into the everyday workings of mankind. And how clever of you to notice! And to share!

    1. You just made my day, Diane!! To receive such high praise from someone as talented of a writer and observer as yourself is very flattering! I'm glad you liked it.

  3. Wow, Susan....this post is so, so good! One of the best you've written. Your observation and writing skills are amazing. I love how you said "Somehow, life works". So true - no matter what happens we keep moving forward and it all works out somehow. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks Lana - I appreciate the positive feedback! I hope your weekend is wonderful also.

  4. How very observant you are. It's so true humanity surrounds all of us. Each day is a gift....We all live our lives as best we can. You have captured the essence of people living their lives, no matter how rich or poor. I am thankful no one was injured...

    1. Every day really is a gift. And I was thankful also, that the accident had no injuries! Thanks for your comment, Linda.

  5. What an amazing post Susan. You have a way of looking at the ordinary and making us see the extraordinary. I have come across similar scenes numerous times and I am usually busy doing other things. The next time I am out in the car, I am going to check out the scenery and stop missing so much of what is going on now instead of worrying what went on yesterday. Stay in the moment that is what I learned from this!, thank you!

    1. Thanks for the compliments Rena. From your posts, it is very apparent you are an observer of life and humanity.

  6. I really appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking all over for this!
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