“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
We owned and operated a water park in Central Florida for twenty years. Water Mania generally was open eight months out of the year with the colder months of Nov-Feb closed for routine maintenance. During the eight months it was open, the most productive times were the two weeks surrounding Easter and then Memorial Day through Labor Day. These were the days when you had to make enough money to sustain you through the slower and closed times. There was a lot riding on these days and we did everything within our control to make the most of them.
One thing that was not in our control was the weather. A hot, humid, and sunny day would produce tens of thousands of dollars more than an overcast and rainy one. For this reason, we all became very interested in the daily weather report. My wife and I would look forward to the news each night with great anticipation because we knew that the tourists in the area and also the local crowds were planning their activities for the next day and were surely taking into account the weather as they made those plans. It was so discouraging when massive storms came into town. It was equally discouraging when they were forecast but somehow never materialized because the damage had already been done when the families planned their activities the night before.
It became natural to start praying that there would be no rain. It doesn’t take long before one realizes that this is a very selfish prayer. I began to think of the farmers in the area that needed rain for their crops. Why would the Good Lord listen to my prayers when the farmer is praying for rain. So I compromised and said I would be ok if it would just rain at night instead of during the day!
I found this same problematic prayer occurring when my children were competing in athletic events. My temptation would be to pray for my child to win but then I realized that other parents were praying for their child to win and so I once again felt selfish in my prayers. The very process of approaching Deity in prayer made me temper my prayers to instead pray that all participating might play to the best of their ability. I might add a few special requests for my child that were particular to him/her but that would not come at the sacrifice of the opponent.
Whether you pray or not, the HighFive Your Life principle is to keep in mind that the journey through this life is not being taken by just your family or those in whom you have interest. We all are on the road trying to take our loved ones with us. There will be some pushing and shoving on this road that will happen just because we are on a crowded road together. One of us may trip. Someone may bump into you or a family member along the way. Toes will be stepped on. Feelings bruised.
It is a compliment to our society and ability to live one with another when somebody helps or makes room for another journeying on that road. It can happen in simple unselfish prayers. It happens when you sacrifice a little of your own glory so another may make some progress along the road. It is also contagious. When one person sees another acting in an altruistic manner, it touches a nerve in such a way that the desire to spread it forward occurs. Of course, the opposite occurs too. When somebody begins to protect their turf in such a way that they begin to become the center of the universe, others will fall right into place and begin to protect their own turf. That seems to be human nature.
But it is also human nature to love something more than yourself. In the pushing and shoving that occurs as we move along the road of life together, every now and then a courageous person arises who makes room for his fellow traveler and helps him along the way. He realizes that the way he makes it to the end of the road with a fulfilled and joyful life is to make sure that others make it there before him.
HighFive Your Life Principle: Keep in mind that the journey through this life is not being taken by just your family or those in whom you have interest. Make room for, and in fact, help along those others traveling the road of life.
Please share your comments regarding this principle or add any other principle that you discovered in the stories I shared. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers. HighFive Your Life…Gary