Life’s lessons are all around us – even on a bus traveling down a Turkish road.
In places like Greece and Turkey, tour guides are trained in universities. They intensely study multiple languages, all periods of history, and every nook and cranny of each excavation site. They give their tours so many times each year, and so many years in a row, that they have every fact memorized. Guides travel with a group for days at a time, for eight to twelve hours every day, without any need for notes other than a few books with pictures to show their group.
On a bus ride through the Turkish countryside, our guide talked about the repetitious nature of his job. He talked about always pointing out the same things and telling the same stories. One day, a lady asked him a question about something in the opposite direction. Our guide admitted that he had never even noticed it before.
The lesson: always look on the other side of the bus.
I see several applications. First, there is always a different point of view that is worth considering. Whether it’s a skirmish with someone or your day-to-day interactions with your spouse, or even working with others on the job, we will all benefit by trying to see life from the other person’s perspective.
Sometimes my perspective is all too selfish. I don’t intend for it to be, but it is. I get focused on what I have to do and the way I have thought through a situation, and I forget that there are others involved. Paul says,
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:3-4).[/box]
Here’s another application to the bus lesson: it’s important to stop and live in the moment. This isn’t always possible and, for some of us, it isn’t always easy to do. If we aren’t careful, we will live in a rush only to find – one day, when we are finally forced to stop for a few seconds – that we’ve missed a lot of what has been going on around us.
There’s a difference between existing and living. Take time to learn how to live. As weird as this sounds, be present wherever you are – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Give other people the time that they deserve.
Want a better life? Look on the other side of the bus.