An Uber arrived in the early morning. The porch light illuminated bags on the front steps ready for loading into the car’s trunk. One bag was missing.
Where’s my bag? Less than ten minutes had passed between the bag placed outside behind a pillar and when it disappeared. The time was now 5:30 am.
Stunned and abruptly awake, the driver waited as we sorted through emotions.
Yes, the bag really was gone. Disbelief.
Yes, we were robbed in the early hours of the morning. Really?
Clothes would need to be replaced. One of us would travel and the other would arrive the next day.
Yes, this was a rough start to a trip.
Aside from bad luck, inconvenience and the loss of lifelong items (the white comb had been in my husband’s possession since his teenage years!) our trip to New York City was as exciting as ever. Luck and good fortune remained on our side.
Although there is not a hidden or divine message from a stolen piece of luggage, we garner new perspective with every experience.
This chaotic departure taught us some lessons for Living as Travelers on Life’s Road.
Here are Six Take Aways:
1. Things are disposable. Our Lives, Loved One and Health are not. Stay focused on what matters.
2. There’s a randomness on earth. It’s part of the human condition. Things do happen and mere seconds change an outcome.
Imagine if my husband had not opened the door, illuminating the porch at the moment someone was noticing our house. Imagine if we had turned on the porch light before 5:30 am shedding too much light for a robbery. Random. No matter your view, we believe that random acts of kindness are more prolific.
3. When bad happens it’s about how we choose to react. An Amazon delivery truck was moving slowly down our block at the moment we were wildly scanning the street for the culprit. For a few seconds we considered the vehicle’s driver a possible suspect. Of course, this wasn’t rational. Emotions took over. Whoever stole the bag was long gone.
Take a few moments to re-group and discern what is true and what corrective action makes sense. Chasing down a delivery truck doesn’t sound like the right option.
4. Don’t dwell in the negative. My husband’s acceptance of the circumstances was gracious. He moved forward quickly and even went shopping, embracing his least favorite activity!
Resilience begins with self-compassion and acceptance.
5. A human tapestry connects us together. One person’s actions reverberates. Perhaps the sales people working at the men’s clothing store that day benefitted from my husband’s purchases. Perhaps the thief had real need to steal. Clearly he/she needed the stuff more than us.
Despite mishaps our connection to one another is a gift, stranger and good friend alike. Just hang out in NYC for some time and you’ll appreciate the kaleidoscope of people adding richness to our lives.
6. As we go out in the world, trust the intent of our fellow human, no matter how different he/she might appear.
Although the journey is wild we can embrace our truth and act from a place of goodness. White combs are disposable but our hearts are not!
Thank you @MantasHesthaven for the primary “man pulling his bag” photo at the beginning of this article.