“Excuse me, that suitcase is mine” a very concerned gentleman with raised voice, lower down on the baggage conveyor said anxiously. “No sir, its mine”. I retorted, somewhat irritated by his attitude and particularly the level of his voice.
Fortunately we mutually agreed to study the case in question; avoiding what could have been a nasty tug-o-war between us.
I have travelled with this case for about twelve years and in all that time, have never seen a duplicate. In all those years I never struggled with identifying my case, whereas most other passengers tie ribbons, put stickers and tags on theirs, to avoid this situation.
My first thought was that this person was attempting to steal my case (I am now ashamed of that thought, as I could later see that he was a family man, over anxious about his case being ‘stolen’ by me).
We both studied the case and I challenged him to unlock my case with his key. In that instant he realized his mistake; moments later his case appeared. As it turned out his case was a duplicate of mine, but much darker in colour.
Like me, my fellow passenger had never seen another case like his.
Although I was truly annoyed by this person’s attitude I accepted his apology and also the business card he offered me. Nervously, he introduced me to his wife and family; but I was not offering any friendliness from my side. Quite honestly, I was angry and wanted to get away from the situation.
My wife, bless her, quipped, “You didn’t have to be so hard on him John, he was just very worried”
“Humph”! Was all I could offer.
Many months later, this business card fell out of my wallet and I was wondering who the person was, with his Eastern sounding name. My wife, upon looking at the card, recalled the suitcase incident.
I felt I owed this person an apology, because of my unfriendly attitude. So I called him. He remembered the incident well and asked me if I would come to his business to have a chat to him.
Ahmed entertained me in a most unexpected way, with tea and Eastern delights; how I wished my wife could have been there to enjoy this experience.
“What business are you in John”? Ahmed inquired. I explained that I manufactured a large range of plastic containers.
That was the start of a very lucrative business partnership for both of us, born out of mutual bad attitudes – then both finding the other side of bad attitude.
What was an even more powerful discovery for me was this; if Ahmed had a very different suitcase – we would never have met. When each of us bought our cases, we never realized that destiny had planned for us to meet and partnership – how’s that! If I had not called Ahmed to apologize for my bad attitude, we would have denied ourselves of destiny’s blessing for us both.
A little while after meeting Ahmed I begun reading a little book called, “Conversations with God”. I was deeply moved by this book and discovered something I have sought for years: ‘a higher way to living’.
In response to what I read, I begun very slowly, with small projects. I decided that every time something created a bad attitude in me I would make a point of searching for the real reason why the annoying incident had occurred in my life and what benefit lay hidden, in the experience, for me.
Suddenly my life became like a treasure of creation, not the rocky road of discovery. Then the ‘bad attitude’ opportunities started flowing into my life, to say nothing of their benefits!
I have always lived my life, hoping with each new day that something different and exciting was going to come about for me on that day. For example; receiving a goodly sum of money; a fresh and exciting work opportunity; suddenly being able to go off on a trip somewhere; but now I know that this was the rocky road of discovery.
I found out that I am designed to create everything in each one of my days. As it is, I am creating my reality, via my senses, every moment of each day, without even being aware of it.
I have a noisy neighbor. The reality that I create, via my eyes and ears and then into my mind, are thoughts like: ‘This person behaves like a neighbor from hell; I wish I had a means of secretly destroying his sound system’. This is a reality that is created in my mind about my neighbor.
So, after introducing myself to my neighbor, I asked him if he could help me in dealing with his very loud music. The result is that to a large extent he has toned down on the loud music. But it seems he has now started, regularly sitting on his veranda, with friends, talking and laughing loudly until late at night.
Taking a creative approach, I made a statement to myself and my wife that goes like this: “I am so grateful that my neighbor from (I add his unit number) has found another home, where he is happily free to play his loud music and also to loudly entertain his friends until the wee hours of the morning”. I make this statement of gratitude daily and am excitedly awaiting this outcome of my creative thinking.
It has been revealed to me that I am made in the Image and likeness of the Chief Planner, who is a creator by profession and therefore I am also a creator. A creator creates and for that reason I must create. Creative thinking is a good place to start, don’t you think?
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