Tragedy or inconvenience?

When things get tough, remember, everything will eventually be OK. There are things that seem so important now that, in time, will be balanced with the rest of reality.

I have a story about my father:

My dad was a principal of a high school in a really nice area of town. All the teachers wanted to teach there. My father was loved and respected (and with good reason). The choir director at our church had been teaching at another school very far from her home. Her young daughter had cancer and was very ill.

She begged my Dad to let her teach there and promised him she would take on extra projects or whatever he needed. She was an English teacher. So, Dad asked her take over the yearbook.

Well, this was back in the mid-70s, and there were no personal computers or digital photos then. She had worked very hard and had all the pictures that were to be in the yearbook in a box. She was doing mockups. She took the box home with her on her way from school. While she was getting her stuff in the car, she set the box on top of the car. Being exhausted from her sick daughter and having to teach all day, she climbed in her car and headed home.

It rained that night. She had done the usual chores moms have to do. She was in bed asleep and suddenly, about 4 a.m. she bolted out of bed in a panic. The thought of the box had crossed her mind in her sleep and awakened her. She then remembered putting the box on top of her car and driving home. She ran out to the car to find what was left of the pictures in the box soaking wet. She jumped in her car and retraced her steps. There were hundreds, if not thousands of pictures scattered all along the highway, all ruined.

That morning about 6 a.m., my dad got a phone call from her. She was hysterical. Because her daughter had been sick, my father’s first concern was that something had happened to her daughter Jeanette. She was crying so hard he couldn’t understand a word she said.

Finally, after she had cried herself out and calmed down enough to talk, my father asked her, “Elizabeth, has anyone died?” She sobbed, “No.” Then my father said, “Well, then, what we have here is not a tragedy, it is an inconvenience.”

My father quickly put in perspective the relative value of the concern. I can’t take credit for the wisdom, it was my father’s.

You might want to remember that when you encounter difficulties in your life. Ask yourself, “Is this a real tragedy, or merely an inconvenience.” It has a way of clearing your head and putting things into perspective very quickly.

I hope this helps you. It has helped me at difficult times.

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About Laura Schneider

Retired IT consultant (disabled), musician and animal lover. I support the constitutional concept of Right of Privacy and no discrimination against any person based on race, religion, ideology, gender, sexual preference or disability. I am very concerned about the erosion of our constitutional rights and protections under GWB (and even this administration). I strongly oppose torture, rendition or illegal search and/or seizure (without a warrant) and warrantless wiretapping. I believe that education is our best hope of a bright future for our children. Knowledge is power, and that's the kind of authority (Biblically speaking) that our children must have in order to be successful in a 21st century world.
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