Here’s fair warning… today’s post is a kinda heavy.
It started out good — about music even — but the songs that I refer to happen to be a couple of fairly deep songs, and this post happens to be about why such songs remind me keep an open mind.
I know. Pretty deep for the FUN times guide. Hopefully I can redeem myself in the end.
So, for what it’s worth, here’s my take on why you never really know…
Where I’m Coming From…
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that you never really know what someone else is going through?
You may think someone’s told you “the whole story”. Or, you may think someone else’s life is peachy-keen. You may even think that you’re the only one feeling life’s pressures get you down at the moment.
The fact of the matter is… You never know what series of events have just taken place in someone else’s life to make them act the way they do (or don’t act), and say the things they do (or don’t say).
Songs That Illustrate My Point
Three songs that have gotten a fair amount of radio airplay these days and that illustrate this point (for me) are:
- They Don’t Understand (lyrics & story behind the song) by Sawyer Brown — written by Dean Chance, Teresa Chance, Steve Miller and Jeff Wood
- I Believe (audio & lyrics) by Brooks & Dunn — written by Ronnie Dunn and Craig Wiseman
- If Heaven (audio & lyrics) by Andy Griggs — written by Gretchen Peters
(Trivial sidenote: The stories behind these songs are just as amazing as the songs themselves. Also interesting: Each was penned by one or more of our favorite songwriters!)
At The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
First, I invite you to have a listen to each of the above songs. And think about them from this perspective.
Then, if anything you’re like me, maybe you’ll pause & think the next time when…
… You’re caught behind the wrong person at the wrong time in rush hour traffic
… It takes everything you’ve got to muster up a “thank you” to someone who’s provided less-than-adequate customer service
… You find yourself behind someone in line who is in no hurry whatsoever to finish their business and move on
… You seem to be the only one in a hurry to get somewhere while everyone else is poking along at a snail’s pace
… Someone is very short with you
Another Way To Look At Things
This goes hand-in-hand with something my friend, Laura, pointed out several years ago when we were traveling from Orlando, Florida to Helen, Georgia together.
At the time, she and I were each drowning in our sorrows regarding our personal finances and such, when she said:
“Look around… at that driver over there. And that one over there. Do you realize that they’ve each got their own sets of problems & things they’re dealing with?”
The fact of the matter is: We tend to be short-sighted and only see OUR problems and think that OUR issues are of the utmost importance most of the time. When, in reality, everyone’s got something big that they’re dealing with in their life — at any given moment.
If you think about it, each and every person you can see right now is probably dealing with something sad… frustrating… or outright unbearable — at least in their mind it is.
It’s All Relative
So the next time you think you’ve got it bad?… Just take a look around and remember, it’s all relative. And you’re not the only one.
Thanks, Laura. This little roadside exchange between Laura and I has stuck with me for over 10 years now. It has always reminded me to try to be more respectful to others — even when they’re being moody, hurtful, or just outright stupid.
I know (speaking from my own experience) that I could’ve been particularly rude or short with others recently… there was this little car accident I was in (with minor injuries), Jim was gone for 10 days straight and I had 2 bickering dogs to keep in line, my tooth ached so bad I wasn’t able to eat on the left side of my mouth for 3-1/2 weeks, my doctor said I probably have high blood pressure, and then there was the teeth-cleaning …which turned into a Crown… which turned into an on-the-spot Root Canal.
My point? There’s more than meets the eye… always.
Okay, Now For The Humor
This will probably only be funny to Laura and myself, but everytime I think of this one little episode that took place during that road trip that she and I took to Helen Georgia (I was driving my big green Pontiac Grand Prix), I start laughing — out loud!
It went something like this…
“Oh look… he wants us to honk our horn!” said Laura as we passed a semi-truck driver.
ME: “Uhhh. No, I don’t think… I’m not sure but… That’s not what he’s after, Laura.”
(He was motioning something. I’m fairly certain it wasn’t the sign to “honk your horn”.)
You see, Laura was oblivious to the fact that I’d just (accidentally) cut-off this semi driver while both of us were going WAY over the speed limit… in crowded highway traffic… during rush hour… in some big city we happened to be passing through.
I trust that he was probably signaling more with his middle finger than anything, but she thought he wanted to play the “honk your horn game”.
Well, FUN is Laura’s middle name, so she proceeded to play along and give the truck driver the “honk your horn” arm motion back in return. (You know, like you used to do to semi-truck drivers to get them to honk their horns when you were a kid?)
By this time, he’s NOT honking any horns, but he IS making his way to my rear bumper. Which, call me paranoid, but I took as a threatening gesture (given the speeding, crowded highway traffic, rush hour, and now… weaving in and out of lanes!).
At which point I managed to dodge through a series of cars and speed off into the sunset leaving Mr. Truck Driver in the dust.
The laughs came later when I explained to Laura that “Mr. Truck Driver’s intent was not to play a fun game of air horns with us, but rather to run us off the road, my dear!”
Air Horns: When you pass a big truck, with your fist clenched, make a pulling down motion while smiling at the truck driver. If you are lucky, he’ll pull his air horn and toot back at you! Source
UPDATE: If you’re interested, here’s another post I wrote (several years later) illustrating the importance of daily life tweaks.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).