Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's In Your Suitcase?

Go on any trip lately?  We’re in the middle of summer, so vacations abound, I’m sure.  People coming.  People going.  Long trips.  Short trips.

Ever go on a trip and forget to pack something?  Something as simple as a toothbrush or deodorant?  Easily remedied at any convenience or grocery store.  Forget a pair of shoes?  A sweatshirt that you meant to take “just in case”?  A little more costly, but again, easily remedied with a stop to a department or shoe store.

When I was growing up, we traveled around in a beat up green Plymouth station wagon.  The radio didn’t work very well, so we sang.  Each of us.  Didn’t matter how old or how young.  It was expected.

Well anyway . . .

On a trip somewhere, we stopped for gas and to use the facilities.  We took our turns, dad last because he worked the gas pump and paid the clerk.  We climbed in, took off and began singing. The sound was off.  Didn’t sound right.  A voice was missing.  Mom turned around and counted heads.

Yup . . .

My brother, Jim was missing.  We turned the car around, went back to the gas station and there he was.  Sitting in the dirt near the front of the store.  Crying.  Angry.  Scared.  All of us scared.  Being a father of three, I can’t imagine the worry, the fear my parents must have felt.  Having worked with missing and exploited kids, well, I don’t even want to go there.

But Jim was forgotten.  Something not easily remedied by a trip to a convenient store or a grocery store or a shoe store or a department store.  Pretty serious.  Don’t really know how it happened.

I don’t remember just how far we had gotten because I’m four years younger than Jim and he was pretty young at the time.  But, really scary.

Back to the suitcase . . .

I think each of us have suitcases.  Some large.  Some small.  Some fancy.  Some plain.  And in it are all the things we might need to bring along on a trip called, “Life”.  To a lesser or greater extent, each of us has tools and skills.  Some born that way.  Some have to learn it.  And for others, they might not have the means or skill to acquire what is needed on that trip called, “Life”.

And at times, what we have in our suitcase just might fail us.  We forget what’s in that suitcase. 

We lose our patience.  We lose our temper.  The listening skill we’ve learned along the way is abandoned.  The ability to reason and see all the options is left at the gas station just like my brother Jim was. 

We end up hurting feelings.  We end up causing anger.  Might even cost us a job.  Sometimes not easily remedied.  Sometimes more than just a turnaround and head on back.  Sometimes much more difficult than that.

Might be the time to see What’s In Your Suitcase.  Might want to check out just what is . . . or isn’t in it.  Might want to take the time to take stock and determine what exactly is needed before we proceed on that trip called, “Life”.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe