I’ve written before that I think life is a test. Today I had a moment of clarity that made me feel as if it may actually be many, each with it’s own lesson to be learned. Every hardship, every painful moment, each success is a small but powerful stroke of the brush that slowly over time paints the Rembrandt of a life well lived. I think I have come to the realization of how to look at life’s trials with an eye towards what they can teach me, not what they can take away. The truth of each glimmer should be composed in a book of knowledge tucked away for future reference, a guidebook of how and how not to be.
My newest trial is the second of it’s type only in reverse. I have just completed the first week of training with my second student driving a tractor trailer on the crazy highways of the northeast corridor of the US. This student has the opposite skill-set of my first student so I have to change my approach completely around. Because I am new to this it is a challenge that I could not anticipate and I am struggling to adjust. I can do this, I just need to think it through this weekend and change my strategy.
Anyone in this business will tell you this is the hardest place in the US to drive a truck due to the crazy drivers, the harsh weather and the poor roads. Most of my career to date has been here, almost 1,000,000 miles and counting, and it takes a toll on your sanity. I can get pretty angry at times with the idiot drivers out here but I’m very good at maintaining my composure. You can’t let the pressure get to you or the job becomes a burden too heavy to carry. You vent verbally but you never change your safe driving habits or they win. This is something I must impart to my students, or I sense I am failing in my duties. This company placed a great trust in me and I won’t let them or myself down.
There is a lesson here I must not miss. More than just imparting to others any meager wisdom I may have gained over time, this is a lesson in character that very well may prove to be more valuable to me then my student. This is the lesson of humility in the face adversity, patience when the tempest of stress takes hold. Each mistake must be turned around and made into a chance to impart an alternative reality, a better way. The real lesson is on myself as in how do I give guidance without offending the built in pride in us all. How do I help not hinder a persons self esteem.
I think I’m starting to see the lessons in everyday life, I’m pushing aside the clouds that mask the world of wisdom that we sometimes fail to see as it passes by each day. Wisdom is not attained by books and reading alone, compassion and understanding cannot be gleaned from a classroom. Only through everyday life with your eyes wide open can you follow a path to enlightenment, only when you face the fact you know nothing until you allow others to teach you their knowledge, only then can you grow and become the person you hope to be. Only then can you learn the lesson of life.