Photo ©2011 by James Truepenny [CC-by-2.0]

My sister recently told me a story about a time when her and her cousins were driving on a hilly road in the middle of the desert. On this road, cars can merge into the adjacent lane to pass another car when oncoming traffic isn’t in sight. However, my sister recounts that she and the others in the car started to panic because a large semi truck speedily approached them and wasn’t moving back into the other lane. They were confused and scared. Every dip in the road brought on an increased feeling of fear because they lost sight of the truck and the uncertainty was terrifying them. The situation as a whole was confusing and questions arose-why wasn’t the freight liner moving into the other lane? Why wasn’t it coming at us as fast as it would be expected to? My sister’s car reached the top of the hill, and with it came understanding, reason, and perspective. At the top of the hill, they could see that another car was towing the semi, and they didn’t have to worry about anything. Both cars were moving in the same direction and both obeying all laws.

I thought about this experience and I think it can symbolize something greater. As we journey through life, we may come to a point where confusion, fear, and worry fill our hearts and minds.

Just like the dip in the road, there are factors in our lives that cloud our vision and distort our better judgment. Things like anger and distractions hinder our ability to make good choices.

Had the driver of my sister chosen to swerve into the other lane without knowing that the semi was not in fact approaching them, more dangers would have risen than had originally been present; the act of avoiding the “oncoming” car without any thought would put them in a position to be hit by the real oncoming traffic. When we jump to conclusions or make harsh decisions without fully understanding a situation, we get ourselves into more trouble than we think we do.

The hill in the road provided the driver with perspective, more knowledge, the “bigger picture.” As we take a step back and look at a situation as a whole, we gain more knowledge and understanding. We need to approach issues with humility, open-mindedness, and looking for multiple perspectives to shed light on it. Even when it is hard for us to accept another’s point of view, we should always give them the benefit of the doubt.


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