Keeping things in perspective

I woke up early this morning and was going through the chores and checking work emails on phone. A business critical system was down this AM. The social media was chattering, email was buzzing, and folks were still waking up (or) getting on it to support. I hopped on a conference line with my Bluetooth, told my 2 year old – daddy has to go, started driving so I could get to work to have the resources at disposal. Instead of the scenic backroad, started driving on the highway and was feeling good – folks on call, statuses started to flow, was making time on the highway & in a matter of another 15 minutes would be in office. It was all good until 2 miles before the exit I take to office. The traffic came to a standstill. I said to myself ugh – it is going to be that kind of a day.

The fire engines, ambulances, cop cars all buzzed past us and all of us were making way for them. At this point the digital signage indicated that the right lane was blocked (I could actually see the arrow signs) and started moving to the next lane. No one wanted to give me the path until a gentleman honked twice. My mind still going it is going to be that kind of a day.

As the traffic limped past the accident site, I saw two women with a dented car, looking anxious & concerned, calling their loved ones (or) even worse may be the insurance agents. Few feet away what I saw put things in perspective. A young school girl (probably) had a green/blue back pack and was staring into the ambulance with extreme concern. Clearly her parent or loved one was in the ambulance, nothing had happened to her, and right behind her was car that broke through the barricade into the woods. I very quickly looked at the young girl’s expression as the rescue professionals were helping the situation & said to myself – at least it is not that kind of a day.

Quickly, I calibrated & said –

  • Right at this moment, I couldn’t fathom myself in the girl or the parent’s shoes both of them looking at each other – one with hope and other with despair
  • Clearly, what the rescue professionals were doing was far more important
  • The best thing I could do this morning was to thank people for their efforts on our system support call

The system issues worked itself out within the next 5 minutes but as I reflect – often we forget to put things in perspective.

  • Consistently be thankful for what we have & be compassionate to others
  • Let pettiness come in the way of individual best
  • Get carried away in our own moment & need
  • React rather than respond
  • Take a breath

By design, many of our lives have become a mad race – race to work, race to day care, race to accomplish, race to stay connected, race to survive & give our families the best. When you are running your individual race – pause for a moment & look around – you get to put things in perspective & calibrate your individual race & win it meaningfully.

Credits: Image sourced under creative commons. Click here for the actual source.

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